Attention to detail

I still have my Grade 2 report card.  They were on thick yellow card, and came with pretty line drawings of different skills.  There was of course place for some comments.  Naturally a report card is as much about reporting progress to parents, as it is finding room to grow and improve.  Like life really – it comes with feedback loops.  And it’s great to never be done (ok, who am I kidding, I love a to do list that’s achieved, with countless lines through all the tasks….)  but there IS always more to be done, or more to improve on.

Of course, I couldn't find THE comment on the report cards I could put my hands on...
Of course, I couldn’t find THE comment on the report cards I could put my hands on…

And today, and for the past few weeks, and back to Grade 2, I’ve needed greater attention to detail.  I’m not sure in what task my lack of attention presented itself in grade 2, but the comment was ‘Sarah shouldn’t be in such a rush to finish her work, and should use her time to review her work’.  Wowzas.  As true now, 20 years on, as it was the year it was written.

The key to me is finding out WHY I rush my work, so I don’t do it as much, or as often.  I know that I don’t spend hours proofing blog posts (I’m not sure if that shows, to you, the readers).  I just don’t get any joy in ‘checking’ what I big headedly assume I of course would have done correctly the first time.  And so often you reread things and your mind plays tricks – it puts the word in that you missed, or it rearranges the letters to make the work you meant to write.  And I assume that the reader is smart, and will ‘work it out’

Work it out?

Where’s the respect for your reader?

Why can’t I do my ‘job’ properly?  In my work, I don’t ‘write’ in the same sense.  It’s not prose.  I write documentation with specific rigid language, and I attach diagrams to support what I’ve written.  It seems simple, and with *attention to detail* I could cross check every part of one against the other.  Instead, it seems that I send them along in the chain, and this lovely fellow with a truly unique name, politely lets me know of all the changes I need to make (or he’s generously made on my behalf).  He’s never angry.  He never (appears to) lose his patience.  If I was him, I would have.  A L-O-N-G time ago.  Because 80% of the time, his feedback is something I knew, in some dark recesses of my mind.  In my once over, I didn’t remember that a certain symbol should accompany that change.  Or that something is “always” orientated that way for that type.

How do I never make the same mistake twice?  I could simply record all the mistakes I make.  But the key is to REVIEW this list with every submission (and there’s a few a week on average).  I have made lists of mistakes, a checklist of the more commonly forgotten things.  But it doesn’t seem to be lessening the ‘attention to detail’ mistakes.

All I can do is try to improve my ‘mistake-o-meter’.  I shall try to more rigourously track each one I make and then at least I’ll know how often I’m making the mistake of the same type…

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