(This is the third in a series of five. Number One is Hopper and Two is Perfectionist Plus.)

“I’m impatient with project follow-through because I just can’t be bothered with all the little details.”

Allergic to Detail types thrive on working and living in the eye of the hurricane. They’re bold individuals who enjoy dealing with challenging projects and engaging in many activities at once. But in their rush to get moving, it seems as though they expect other people to read their minds: they tend to overlook all kinds of essential details.

Why do people have an Allergic to Detail Style?

1. They enjoy dealing with the broad picture.

Most Allergic to Details see themselves as flexible, well-rounded personalities with a variety of interests. As they pursue these interests they enjoy making all the big decisions. But once those big decisions are made, they like to move on to something else and let others take care of the more routine details.

2. They’re too impatient to handle follow-up.

This impatience may be partly rebellion against constraints they felt in the past. But whatever the reason, this impatience, coupled with the excitement if coming up with ideas and initiating projects, makes ATDs weak on follow-through. As a result, crucial items often fall through the cracks. I remember the day I went to see an ATD client, a contractor, when she had just realized that she had misplaced a check for $10,000 somewhere in the mess on her desk. Her idea of a solution was to go out and buy a bigger desk.

3. They like to move quickly and therefore resist routines.

Many Allergic to Details are quick thinkers with boundless energy. They rely on their intuition for their good ideas, and often they’re innovative entrepreneurs who are willing to take risks. They’re anything but lazy. As they juggle many balls in the air, though, they continually say they really dislike the routine managing phase of their enterprise.

[Note: Even people who normally don’t operate as ATDs can fall into this style when they get over-loaded, e.g, when they’re responsible for too many aspects of a job, or they have to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.]

While they might seem to be disorganized, Allergic to Details are often found on the fast track, and their energy and enthusiasm can be critical to the success of a new idea. But since most new ideas are only as good as their follow-through, ATDs have to make sure this aspect of development is not neglected. Sometimes setting up systems can seem like a detail in itself to ATDs, but these guidelines will help:

1. Create simple, basic routines to follow.

2. Minimize the problem of forgetting by

– recording your thoughts

– tacking up reminders where you can’t miss them

– keeping all materials and equipment handy for the various activities of your day

4. Find someone to help you devise follow-up procedures and carry them out.

5. Take time to relax and reward yourself along the way.

You can find more solutions and examples for Allergic to Details in the book How To Be Organized In Spite Of Yourself.

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