This week our pre-teen recently made a mistake that, if not caught early, would have required a time consuming and expensive repair to our home.
Our reaction and response to the incident was “You need to be more careful”.
This got me thinking: Is the opposite of carelessness simply carefulness?
How is being careful an actionable item or a habit? If it means to “try harder”, how does that create carefulness or even eliminate future errors?
I recall when I had minor surgery a couple of years ago, the surgeon marked his initials with a sharpie on my left leg. When I queried him as to why he did this he said it was to ensure he operated on the proper limb!
For this professional, putting more care into his work doesn’t mean trying harder or relying on memory or experience, it means putting CARE into the system.
Though it may seem silly, marking the limb was a checklist item.
If you recall your days in school or your children’s attendance in school, I am sure you encountered the famous sentence: “You need to be more careful.”
If there are areas in your life prone to error or where mistakes need to not happen at all, consider how you can change the system rather than tell yourself or others to be more careful.
When our family leaves our primary residence for several days at a time, we have a 1 page checklist to ensure nothing is forgotten!
More effort does not solve problems.
I do not believe in the idea that someone is inherently detail oriented.
Anyone can be:
· More present
· Avoid multitasking
· Develop habits and routines to keep track of details (ie – have a system)
· Develop checklists
The human mind is amazingly plastic.
The next time someone asks if you are detail oriented, forget what label you or anyone has ever assigned, because your answer can definitely be YES!
Being detail oriented is a choice and a process.
Have a great weekend, Karl
I watch a lot of astronaut movies....Mostly Star Wars. And even Han and Chewie use a checklist. Jon Stewart
No wise pilot, no matter how great his talent and experience, fails to use his checklist. Charlie Munger