Your Step-by-step Guide to Improving Attention to Detail

Updated: Aug 18

Attention to detail is the quality of a person who focuses with extreme care, thoroughness and concentration on a task or project with all its elements, no matter how small. Are you embarrassed when your boss notices a grammatical error or inconsistency in the data you present on various slides of the PPT? Have you ever heard the saying "the devil is in the details"? It's time to sharpen your eye for detail. In this article we will show you how.

According to Glassdoor, attention to detail is one of the most important skills employers look for in their applicants. The difference between an average project and an outstanding one is attention to detail. If you neglect small details in your tasks, it will translate into big mistakes later on. Successful people have only one secret: they focus on the details to achieve excellence.

You may be working on many projects at the same time, and it's possible that you are overlooking some details. Attention to detail is a learned skill that you can improve with various tools by limiting distractions and giving your mind the focus it needs.

Have you ever heard the saying "the devil is in the details"? It's time to sharpen your eye for detail. Attention to detail is the quality of a person who focuses with extreme care, thoroughness and concentration on a task or project.

How can you tell if someone has the ability to pay attention to details?

Before you proceed with the step-by-step guide to improving your ability to pay attention to details, you need to assess your ability to pay attention to details. A person who has this ability most likely has the following three characteristics.


People who pay attention to details are self-critical, question themselves, and are not satisfied with their results. They are always looking for ways to improve. This can sometimes become an unpleasant trait because they pay too much attention to details and therefore focus only on the negative. A detail-oriented person should also pay attention to the positive qualities.

Emotional stability and intelligence

People with a detail-oriented trait focus on the emotions and feelings of others. They know immediately when someone is in trouble and can read between the lines. They are emotionally intelligent and can see the big picture. According to Lauren Landry in the Harvard Business Review, 90% of emotionally intelligent people are successful in their careers because they can understand the true feelings of others.

The ability to see the big picture

People with the ability to pay attention to details can also see the big picture. They can foresee the effects of their actions. They think carefully about the future and the consequences of the small details if they are not taken care of.

Your guide to improving your ability to pay attention to details.

You may think that attention to detail is a God-given skill, but you can actually learn and improve it. It takes some determination to train yourself to be more detail-oriented. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you sharpen your attention to detail.

1. Get organized

The first step on the road to being more detail-oriented is to get organized. You can do this by saving important dates in your calendar so you can better prepare for upcoming events. You need to organize your workspace, files, pen holder, etc. so that you do not waste time looking for lost items and can fully focus on the task at hand.

2. Create to-do lists

According to the Guardian, people work much better when they list the tasks that need to be done. You can create a short-term list and a long-term list. When a task comes up from the long-term list, you can put it on the short-term list and move on with it. This is a good way to remind yourself of your tasks for the next few weeks or the next month. Keep the list where you can see it regularly so you do not miss important tasks.

3. Always create a checklist

The next step is to check off the tasks you have completed and mark the tasks on your priority list that you want to complete next. Checklists give you a good feeling that you have completed most of your tasks.

4. Stick to a routine

Whether you are in the office or at home, you need to stick to a daily routine. To improve your attention to detail, set aside a specific time to do a certain task. This way, you will find it easy to complete the task and your workload will be divided into small units. If you do things arbitrarily, such as no bedtime or no specific time to wake up, you will end up tired and all the work will pile up, making it impossible to get anything done.

5. Avoid distractions

Distractions can come in many forms, such as your family, friends, a funny video on the internet, your colleagues pushing you to teach them a certain task, or when you are hungry. The best way to avoid most of these distractions is to put your phone on silent, as it can easily distract you from your task. Also, find a quiet place to work that is far away or in a corner that is free from any hustle and bustle. Research has shown that the temperature and environment of the workplace are the main causes of distractions. It should not be too hot or too cold to distract you from your work.

6. Resist the urge to multitask

Multitasking is a detail killer. If you are working on multiple tasks at the same time, you may miss some details. When you work on multiple tasks at once, you can not pay attention to the details. Divide your tasks into small parts. Prioritize and give your attention to the most important tasks instead of focusing your energy on less important tasks.

7. Take short breaks

When you are done prioritizing your tasks, take short breaks to refresh your mind. Take your breaks at the same time every day and no longer than 10 -15 minutes. You can exercise or have a small refreshment before resuming your tasks. According to Meg Selig, psychological research has shown that breaks increase your motivation, productivity and ability to learn.

8. Get a second pair of eyes

The best way to pay attention to details is to work with others. They can point out to you a mistake or discrepancy that you missed. It's always good to have someone else look at the task from a different angle.

9. Play puzzle games to improve your attention to detail

Games like memory cards, puzzles where you have to figure out "what's wrong with the picture," etc. help your brain notice small details and help you pay attention to details in different aspects of your life.


Implementing this guide is the most important part of sharpening your attention to detail. Isn't this how we develop every good habit? So act now, make a plan, and do it with patience and determination. This one trait will make you stand out from the crowd in the workplace or when seeking new opportunities. Include this skill on your resume and do not hesitate to mention it to the hiring manager at your next interview.

So are you a detailed-oriented person or you up for improvement?


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