What Does Thoroughness Look Like?

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An Example of Thoroughness:  The Alligator

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So what does thoroughness look like?  Alligators are great examples of thoroughness in how they watch over their eggs after the incubation period.  The female alligator will watch over the nest and when they are ready to hatch and help remove debris from the nest.  The female alligator may also help by breaking the shells with her mouth as the baby alligators are hatching.

What Does Thoroughness Look Like As a Process?

  1. A thorough process begins with understanding the "big picture" and/or final outcome.  What do you wish to accomplish by doing what you are doing?
  2. It's important to be observant of the details in the overall process. 
  3. Then it's important to do some educated guessing how the details relate to each other and the big picture.  However, this step can be abused and/or misunderstood.  This is not talking about minutiae or worrying, it's just taking the process out to the future in your mind in order to predict some possible outcomes and how to prepare ahead for them.
  4. Discern which details are the most critical to reaching your final outcome.  In some processes, some details are not as important as others based on how much they will affect the final outcome.  Here lies the difference between minutiae and importance.  Also, some of the bad habits of worrying can be dealt with by facing possible outcomes and preparing for them ahead of time.
  5. Slow the process down enough to give focus on important details.  There's always that "sweet spot" in the center where we are moving fast enough to make some progress but slow enough to be thorough.
  6. Break down the process into smaller steps around important details.  This helps our focus to stay on course and not get overwhelmed by an extensive process.  
  7. Follow through on the process step by step until reaching your final outcome.

Bringing It Together

A thorough process is one where we understand the big picture, are observant of the details, project how the details affect each other and the final outcome, discern the important details, slow the process down enough to keep our focus on these important details, break down the process into smaller steps, and follow through step by step until we reach our final outcome.  

How About You?

What part of this seven-step process are you good at?  What part of it do you need to improve?  What kind of a plan can you come up with so that you can answer the question by your own example, "What does throughness look like?"

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