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Attention To Detail


We have so many things competing for our attention: our jobs, our families, our obligations - who has time to read an email, let alone fully digest its message? I don't know about you, but I am constantly applying triage to prioritize the competing demands of my life. The preface to digital articles, indicating how much time it will take you to read them, shows I am not alone.

"What would Richard Branson do?" was a question asked at a seminar I attended, implying that if we want to, we can do it all. We're encouraged to "take it all on" by delegating, automating, and, of course, by letting go of that nasty habit of perfectionism! 

We may gain the ability to check more things off of our to-do lists by practicing minimalism, but much is also lost. Attention to detail means you care. Involving your whole self, including your emotional self, in your activities helps build true connections in both family as well as professional relationships.

This is not to say that there aren't things we should delegate or automate. Many of us would benefit from outsourcing the preparation of our taxes to a professional, for example, to minimize mistakes and increase the likelihood we'll take advantage of every opportunity to reduce our tax bill. Organizing our email inbox by creating automated filters and rules can reduce anxiety and improve productivity.

One area I recommend paying attention to is your pay stub, which includes your gross pay, tax and employee benefit deductions from your pay, as well as any insurance premiums or contributions to retirement plans. You should always check the information to make sure it is accurate, and that you understand everything that is being deducted. This year it especially important to review your paycheck to make sure sufficient taxes are being withhheld, since the Treasury Dept. and the IRS updated their withholding tables to reflect the changes from the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.