Attention To Detail

When it comes to attention to detail, there's an old saying "more haste, less speed", which highlights that if you try to do something quickly, you will often make mistakes, and in the end take longer to complete the task.

As a simple measure of your attention to detail, ask yourself how many times you have had to send an email twice because you forgot to add the necessary attachment. Then ask yourself what the circumstances were that lead to that error. In all likelihood it will be the fact that you were under some form of time pressure or not fully focused on what you were doing. This simple task of sending an email therefore tells you all you need to know about attention to detail and what can impact it.

Attention to detail is about bringing focus and often intensity to the task at hand. Sportspeople often talk about “being in the zone” when they are so focused on the task at hand that they have eliminated or blocked out all distractions to the point where they are so focused they can even lose memory of the events that are taking place.

At a lower level of focus, I was once asked to read a report that was just about to go out of the door to a prospective client. In the first two paragraphs there were three spelling mistakes, hardly the impression we wanted to create of what they could expect to get by choosing a new provider. Clearly nobody else had checked the report or their proof reading had lacked as much attention to detail as the writing!

So attention to detail is a talent where you can demonstrate the repeated ability to achieve thoroughness, accuracy, and consistency. Paying attention to detail involves concentration and the ability to look closely at a subject or activity.

It also involves spending adequate time working on individual tasks to ensure that you follow the relevant processes or instructions and deliver error-free work

Attention to detail is all about quality over quantity where you focus on producing work that relays the necessary output, as opposed to trying to finish as many tasks as possible in a short amount of time.


During your next working day focus purely on the task in hand, set aside the necessary time to complete it, and eliminate or ignore any distractions. Assess if this method of working increases your productivity.

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