How to Improve Hyper Observation Skills

When you're hyper-observant, you see things that others may miss.

Detectives aren’t the only individuals who benefit from having hyper-observation skills. Regardless of what you do, hyper-observation can improve your ability to focus, listen and understand others. Remember, there's a difference between observation and hyper-observation. According to the Guardshack website, when you observe, you notice only what you need to gain more information -- like making sure the road is clear before crossing it. When you are hyper-observant, you deliberately focus and engage with your environment.

1 Step 1

Your observations are only as good as your memory. Sharpen your mind with memory games, make a conscious effort to remember the names of new people you meet and use pneumonic devices.

2 Step 2

Pay attention. Paying attention is about more than just seeing. It’s about purposeful awareness and mindfulness. To pay better attention to what’s going on around you, slow down and mind the details -- like the condition of someone’s clothing, a sticky residue on a table, the smell of cheap perfume and background noises.

3 Step 3

Keep an observation journal. A May 2012 article in Time shares that scientists enhance their observational skills by taking field notes in which they draw and write descriptions of what they witness. Start simple and observe a bird that you see near picnic tables. Note the colors of the feathers, its size, the sounds of its chirps and how it bounces around. Describe what you think the bird’s intentions are and how it interacts with its environment.

4 Step 4

Have an open mind and think critically. Biases and assumptions can get in the way of hyper-observation. The point of being hyper-observant is to gather facts, so note the things you see, hear, feel, smell and touch. To remain objective, don’t judge your environment or those in it. As you analyze the information that you gather, ask yourself why it’s important, why you want to remember the details and how the information you gathered connects to knowledge you already have.

5 Step 5

Observe new things often. To become proficient at hyper-observation, it must become second nature -- like a habit. Train your mind to observe new things by regularly looking at the world from a different angle. For example, spend some time in an area of your city with which you aren’t familiar. Take pictures of objects that look like the letters of the alphabet. Try new food. Look at a new piece of art daily.

6 Step 6

Form connections. The Time article states that improving your observation skills requires integrating what you see, hear, taste, smell or touch with what you already know and what you think may be true. Enhance your hyper-observation skills by making logical connections with what you witness right away. For example, if you notice that a middle-aged man chews his fingernails and has pamphlets from different colleges sticking out of an attaché, you may form the connection that the man is stressed or anxious about a child going to college.

7 Step 7

Meditate. When you want to improve your hyper-observation skills, you have to improve your focus. In addition to helping you relax, meditation is a practice that can help you learn to clear your mind of racing thoughts, which can get in the way of your observational skills. One way to meditate is to put on some relaxing music without lyrics, sit down in a position that’s comfortable and focus on your breathing for at least 10 minutes.

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.