Attention to detail

laelene Post in general blog,Tags: , ,

I’m generally very good at noticing slight changes in details. If something is misaligned, if a font has changed, or if something is happening in the background, I’ll probably notice it. Sometimes this is a bit of a curse, since it makes the perfectionist part of me cringe and then I can’t help but focus on that slight imperfection. I’ve learned to tone it down over the years so that I notice, but don’t mull over the details too long. After all, in day to day life, who wants to spend their time constantly nitpicking what’s wrong?

mini boot camp platoon formation with drill instructor yellingThis served me well in ROTC days, when we were often berated for inattention to detail. Hospital corners had to be perfectly 45 degrees, uniforms had to be perfectly creased but not wrinkled, hair had to be perfectly groomed with not a strand out of place, and the head had to be perfectly cleaned. Everything spotless, in its place, and perfect. Every minute detail was critiqued and criticized, from how you held your hands to where you placed your feet to what your facial expression was. I loved my time in military training, particularly the boot camps I attended. I think the discipline and focus on details was just the environment where I could succeed relatively easily, so that made me feel good. It makes me think of when I took shop class in middle school and the teacher singled me out as having great writing skills, because I could follow his instructions to a tee and write the letters and numbers exactly like him. I’m very good with instructions.

In my personal life, it makes me notice so much around me that my mind is constantly racing. A slight chip in my nail polish, that mark on my wrist bone where it rubs on the computer all day, my slightly uneven features, the way I tend to use one side more than another… these are the things that are in the back of my mind even as I’m working, resting, or interacting with people. Sitting here now I’m thinking about how my ankles don’t bend the same way (one is more flexible than the other), how the sheets don’t fit just right on the bed, and how a new purse I’m breaking in doesn’t stay perfectly centered. I can now think the thought and put it away until I notice it again, but imagine how insane it’d be if I had to try to fix everything! Thank goodness that’s not the case, or else I might go insane.

new facebook toolbar with larger search bar and font

I actually thought of writing about this because recently Facebook changed their toolbar – did you notice? That was a pretty big change, but there are other things like font changes that I can pick out too. I use a tool called Reachli, which has changed nearly half a dozen times in the last month, with small tweaks to the font, font size, menu, etc. Most recently, I was watching a video today and saw that one of the guys in the background was sitting at his computer, typing away when everyone else was paying attention to the speaker (President Obama). If you’re that person in the background yawning or picking your nose or looking away, I’m the person who sees it. With each of these cases, the details were glaringly obvious to me, but I wonder if some people never even noticed a thing. Of course, I don’t notice everything and I certainly fell for the basketball passes trick, but I do feel like I have a much higher awareness than most people. Are you the same?


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