It seems there is a commemorative day, week, and month for everything. Here are the commemorative weeks in March:
March 3-9 - National Problem Gambling Awareness Week
March 11-17 - Brain Awareness Week
March 14-20 - National Farm Safety Week
So, let's declare this week (March 25-March 29) Pay Attention to Detail Week. This week you will especially observe your actions when it comes to completing everyday tasks and look at them in a differently.
This week is the week to think "less errors" (especially those that are most common, eliminate the need to complete the same task again due to a mistake, and develop a piece of mind that the task is done and will not have a "boomerang effect" and come back to you because you missed a step or made an error.
Remember, when paying attention to detail:
1. Ask questions/clarify/confirm - Not only does this improve assertiveness skills, you will get all the information you need and won't have to come back two or three times.
2. Get out of the "robotic" routine - when we get in "robotic mode" we miss details because of the frequency of the task. Snap out of it and pay attention to the process, it may need changing. "What was yesterday, may not be today."
3. "Know Thyself" - train the eye to look for specific errors that tend to be your Achilles' heel. My Achilles' heel is dates. I know that today is Monday, March 25, but not paying attention, Monday, March 25 could turn into Monday, March 24 on correspondence.
Here are some examples of details you can add special attention to this week:
1. Copying - How often do you count a completed set of copies before distributing to ensure all pages have been duplicated? Copiers make mistakes too.
2. Smile when answering the phone - you "sound" happier when your smiling. Ever heard the quote, "Smile and the whole world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone." Plus, this little detail could diffuse an angry caller.
3. Proofreading bosses correspondence - Do you read your supervisor's letters, memos, etc. before sending them? Just because they are in a higher position does not make them Error Free Grammar Kings/Queens.
4. Stock of paper in copier/printers - Before printing, check the paper supply, I used to work for a boss that could print from his home to the office printer. Imagine his disgust when he got an error message saying his printing was not completed. Or have you ever used the department copier to find out that a different color paper was left in the tray or the settings were not at default?
5. Distributing correspondence with cc or bcc - Aside from proofreading the document, do you you review the cc: information and ensure that all recipients get a copy of the document?
Not paying attention to detail comes with a high price. So make this week, Pay Attention to Details Week and make it as observant and error free as possible.
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