• Being in the weeds is all about getting into the nitty-gritty details
  • Focusing on the details is important and lays the foundation for everything else
  • Ignore the naysayers and keep your focus and you’ll be successful
Every single day, you’re banging out work and getting shit done left and right. It’s common for you to know all the ins and outs of your various programs and projects. If anybody has any questions about any of your items, you pretty much know most of the details, if not all of them.

You’ve become known as the “go-to” person for your specific responsibilities. And it honestly makes you feel good that you’re that person. You feel valued.

However, there are those instances when you’re in a meeting with the higher-ups and executives where they tend to say stupid ass business cliches such as “we don’t need to get in the weeds” with your projects.

When this happens, it makes you feel like shit. It’s almost as if they’re actually saying that your work isn’t worth their time. The truth is that they’re making a huge mistake in not listening to what you have to say or contribute to the meeting.

We’re here to tell you that being “in the weeds” matters.

What Does “In The Weeds” Mean Anyway?

You’ve heard this cliche countless times at work usually in group meetings. But what exactly does it mean? And, how did this phrase come about?

The business cliche “in the weeds” is a metaphor for getting into the real nitty-gritty details of whatever it is that you’re working on. It originated from the physical act of being all the way down on the ground on your hands and knees with your face in the dirt looking for weeds. It’s tediously detailed lawn care that is tiring and intensive.

When you’re deep in the grunt work details of your project, it’s easy to feel lost and frustrated when you’re engulfed in too much tedious work. It can become really overwhelming when you’re having to hop from one project to another non-stop all day long.

However, if you’re in the zone and you’re able to mono-task, you can really kick ass and get a lot of shit done when you’re down in the weeds. This is when you’re paying attention to and sorting out all of the tiny little details that matter. It’s setting up billing codes, creating data entry processes, developing workflows, linking excel formulas, etc.

All of these details matter because without them, nothing else would work. This isn’t shallow bullshit work. It’s the really tedious but important stuff that serves as the foundation for everything else to be built upon. It’s the “nuts-n-bolts” of the project or operation.

Why It’s Good To Be In The Weeds

Are you that person at the office who has their nose buried in all the little details of a project? Are you that person in the meeting that’s worried about the specifics of the project that nobody seems to be bringing up?

Sure, your co-workers may give you some odd looks from time to time - but deep down, they know it's for a good reason. Being in the weeds with your work is actually a really good thing.

And here's why.

You Become The Go-To Expert

When you know all of the bits-n-pieces of your project and how they all work together and are interconnected, you become the master expert. If shit hits the fan, you are the only one that can troubleshoot and find the root cause of any problems or issues. There isn’t a single facet of the program that you don’t know about.

And by default, you become known in the organization as the go-to expert on it. Nobody else knows as much as you do or has the deep skills and knowledge. Even the office asshole can’t touch you on this. You rule the roost on this one.

Less Shit Falls Through The Cracks

When you’re bird-dogging the details of any project, you’re keeping a close eye on all of the finer aspects that empty suits and other clueless coworkers are overlooking or ignoring. When you’re tracking all of the key items and tasks, nothing will fall through the cracks and be forgotten.

When you forget about some small detail on a project, it becomes like that proverbial pebble in your shoe that keeps on bugging you until you take it out. When you’re in the weeds, this doesn’t happen.

You Have More Control And Influence

There’s nothing more frustrating than being blamed for something that’s not in your control. Being at the center of any kind of blamestorming session where people are pointing fingers at you sucks. But, it’s even worse when it’s for shit you can’t fix or control.

It’s the opposite when you’re in the thick of it. You have more control and influence over things, not some other dweeb in another department that’s cyberloafing all fucking day long. You can call the shots here or at the very least, you’re input is the most valued.

Strengthen Your Reputation

When you become the default expert on several projects, people will start to notice that you have your shit together. As this becomes more widely known, your personal brand and reputation at work get stronger with each passing day. This ultimately will position you as an ideal candidate for promotion and increasing responsibilities.

You see, upper management and the executives only want to promote capable people into mid-ranks with more responsibilities to those that can execute them. Being in middle management sucks and it’s a really hard job. Only those that can sweat the details at the lower levels are primed to move up.

Ensures Smoother Operation

When all of the gears and cogs of a machine are well-oiled and operating as they should, it produces results and everything runs smoothly. The same can be said of any complex project that’s got a lot of moving pieces. It’s no different.

When you’re paying attention to the details of a project, you’re making sure things are running as they should be. There’s nothing wonky with the data feeds, automated transactions, workflow processes, etc. It’s really running like a perfectly functioning machine. It makes managing work stress a breeze.

Maintains Your Momentum

The great thing about being in the nitty-gritty parts of any project is that you’re mostly attacking things at a task or subtask level. You’re not having to manage a huge messy clusterfuck all at once. And this is a good thing.

When you’re doing things at lower levels, you get quicker wins. And even though these wins will be smaller, they’re hugely important for keeping momentum when things get fucking hard. This leads to that awesome feeling of joyful productivity which then allows happiness to happen at work more often.

Stops Problems From Growing Into Crises

If you’ve ever had the joy of having to pull weeds from your garden or lawn, you know just how important it is to get it done quickly and early. Because if you don’t, those little weeds grow into much larger weeds and they spread fast. It’s the same with your projects.

By being micro-attentive, you’re not going to drop the ball because of that one thing that didn’t get addressed, handled or taken care of. It won’t come back to bite you in the ass or turn into yet another fire you gotta put out.

It’s Good To Sweat The Details

What you’re doing now is totally underappreciated by most upper-level managers and definitely lost on those fucking clueless executives who can’t tell the difference between their ass and elbow. And when any of them make that passing remark about “not getting in the weeds”, don’t take it personally. They just don’t have a clue of how critical and important it is to pay attention to the small details.

What most of them don’t realize is that without your effort and dedication to the intricacies of the project, none of their high-level strategic stuff would ever work. The shit you do is what lays the solid foundation for everything else.

The good thing is that some managers do realize this and thus, you get the recognition you fucking deserve for busting your ass.

So, keep your nose to the grinding wheel, keep at it and celebrate the small victories. The detailed work you do matters - a lot.

Feel Better,

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