The ability to follow instructions is a basic life skill that is part of everyday life. It can apply to almost every setting, from home and school to work and public transportation.
For example, at home, parents ask their children to do things around the house (e.g. “Please pick up the ball’) and at school teachers ask their students to follow commands within academic tasks (e.g. “Get your math journal, pencil, and eraser”).
When instructions are properly followed, things work well, and people work together. People know how to follow instructions showing that they are intelligent, dependable, and cooperative, while those who disregard instructions can cause derailment, obstacles, and inefficiency when it comes to working. Here is a short list of why following instructions matters.
Table of Contents
Keeps Everyone Safe
At an early age, humans learn to follow directions. Even before we are conscious of it, it quickly becomes clear that following instruction is important for safety. As much as we would like to keep the children to ourselves, they are not going to stay at home for the rest of their lives. They will start to go to school, participate in sports and activities, take tests, go to camps, visit a friend’s house, play games, etc. Learning to follow directions will help them function effectively across these different environments. As we continue to grow, we also begin to learn that following instructions comes with many benefits outside of keeping us safe. For instance, if a factory and construction workers handling heavy machinery do not follow instructions, it could put themselves or others in great danger. This includes the direct danger that can come with dealing with machines, and equipment. It also involves making sure to put things together correctly so products do not endanger anyone. More so with drivers, if they do not follow instructions, that would lead to accidents or even death. Whether at home, school, at work, road, or in the local park, the skill of following directions may save one’s life one day.
Strengthens Sense of Purpose
The ability to follow instructions can make you seem more diligent and responsible especially to leaders, workmates, and peers, or even as daughters and sons. It helps you navigate to new opportunities and to deal with new situations. A leader who knows how to follow can create more avenues for creative thinking, and commitment, thus, creating happier and empowered employees. If someone struggles with following instructions this impacts their ability to reach the desired purpose or outcome and thus complete tasks effectively.
Creates a Positive and Productive Work Environment
Following instructions at work can have different implications depending on the employment setting. In certain job situations, following instructions is a matter of life and death (especially for doctors, nurses, and other health workers). In others, it can impact opportunities for career development. It has the potential to impact one’s day-to-day stress levels and overall quality of life. When someone does their work right, everyone involved is happy and it creates a positive and productive work environment. Moreover, their client as well will be satisfied and likely received positive feedback from their boss. On the other hand, if an employee does not follow instructions on a task, it can lead to a lot of stress for everyone involved, impacting a person’s mood and the company’s bottom line.
Assures Product Quality
Most products, no matter how simple they might seem to be, come with the manufacturer’s instructions. Before a medical device can be sold, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires validation testing to demonstrate that the device can be effectively cleaned and disinfected in healthcare facilities by following its own instructions for use (IFUs). These IFUs, and sterilization standards, provide critical information about reprocessing medical devices to render them safe for patient care. With medical devices increasing in complexity in both design and materials, it is vital to process them exactly as prescribed in the manufacturers’ IFU. Following the instructions for use is so important that the Joint Commission is asking facilities to review their process to assure they are following the IFU. Another example is following the manufacturers’ instructions for the Memorex MKS-SS2 sing stand 2 home karaoke system to fully enjoy the different features it offers.
When you follow instructions, it offers lots of benefits. For one, when you look at the various aspects of our everyday lives and daily interactions with others, like following the user manual’s instructions for a new gadget, you realize how this skill allows us to accomplish so much.
Many people don’t realize it, but following instructions can save time, increase effectiveness, and simplify tasks. However, when a person fails to follow instructions, it can often lead to a lot of frustration and chaos. For instance, failure to follow a recipe when cooking can cause you to end up eating something that doesn’t taste exactly what you expect it to be. Another is, that failure to follow instructions in electrical wiring can cause fire, explosion, or even death. And finally, if health workers do not follow instructions and proper procedures, it can put a patient’s well-being in jeopardy or death.
Usually, proper following instructions involve listening or reading carefully and asking questions when necessary. Those who know how to follow instructions tend to find it easier to complete the task at hand. However, when a person fails to follow instructions, completing the task then becomes a lot more difficult and stressful.
Finally, as expressed in Proverbs 4:13, “Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her; for she is thy life.” It is good and healthy to be creative and think outside the box, but always remember that through instruction, you can create beautiful and lasting experiences throughout your life. Instructions give us clarity to create, learn, grow, and become better for our world!