How to Improve Attention to Detail

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Being detail oriented benefits virtually every occupation on the planet. In many instances, the trait is also a job requirement. Having the ability to pay close attention to detail improves work performance and reduces costly mistakes. Not everyone is naturally detail oriented and this presents somewhat of a challenge. However, there exercises and techniques that may help build your attention skills.

Practice Techniques

There are a number of pleasant activities that require attention to detail that are helpful in building your ability. The game of concentration that many played in childhood is a great way to hone your detail-oriented skills. Use any type of cards desired but choose pairs. Shuffle the cards and position them image-side down on a table. Start flipping cards over to find the pairs. Play a few rounds and time yourself. Repeat the game throughout the week and see if you improve.

Working with memory sketches presents a more challenging activity. Look at a picture for approximately one minute then turn it over. Make a list of as many details as possible. Compare the list with the actual picture.

Putting puzzles together is another pastime that requires differentiating between details in order to correctly find the right pieces to go in the right spots. Consider playing online puzzle games that entail finding the differences in side-by-side images. Similar games involve determining what is wrong or missing from a picture.

Get Organized

Being more organized helps alleviate emotional, mental or physical distractions when trying to concentrate on a task. By following a prioritized structure or routine, you are also less likely to become stressed in order to complete work on time and may complete assignments ahead of schedule. Panicking or stressing out often disrupts concentration. Organization and structure also allow for more time to pay attention to detail.

Limit Distractions

Depending on your occupation, you may often get interrupted by co-workers, phone calls or someone needing your assistance. When working on a task that requires more attention than usual, consider moving to a more private location. If this is not possible, consider wearing earbuds or earphones that may be attached to a device which is turned off. People on average are less likely to disturb someone who does not appear readily approachable.

Take a Break

Give your brain and your eyes a break for at least five to 10 minutes every two to three hours. Go get a beverage, briefly visit with a co-worker or splash cold water on your face. Studies indicate that students absorb more information when studying if they use this approach. When going back to the task at hand, you will find that you are better able to focus.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "How to Improve Attention to Detail," in, February 21, 2016, (accessed August 16, 2022).