I like to people watch! I'm always just a little curious about what makes people tick. One of the many things that I've noticed is a key difference between successful people, and 'mediocre' people. It's not exactly a groundbreaking discovery, but it is very instructive to those of us who are looking to become, or stay, successful.
Your typical person seems to work at about 90% capacity. When I say capacity, I'm referring to a combination of skill level, effort, and attention to detail. 90% capacity will allow you to do a good job. You'll keep your boss happy, and maintain a good career. But those who go beyond the good level are the ones who ultimately become successful.
Here's the problem. The extra 10% effort/skill/detail isn't very noticeable! Hence the reason the average person stops at 90%. The extra 10% effort doesn't seem to add a lot of value, and usually few outsiders will even notice or understand the difference. As an example, take the interminable debate between PC and Mac users. Because both systems can do the same thing, at practically the same speed, not everyone sees the need for, or even notices, the extra attention to detail that goes into a Mac computer. But there's no question which computer is more loved, and more profitable!
Those who are successful work at the 100% level. Paying attention to details that no one else cares about. Putting in a little extra effort into the details that may not be all that critical.
What do you think? When does attention to detail become a waste of time?