Thinking efficiently may not be in trend in today’s world but it is a very useful skill that one must possess. Efficient thinking means you engage in important information and utilize it to create decision and your own opinion. To some people, this may come naturally while to others it is something you can train in order to improve yourself.
Firstly, focus on the right details. In order to think critically and efficiently, you must grasp the important details. We are now living in a world where everybody is moving fast and there is tendency that people lost the details of the information that supposed to be conveyed. When receiving information, regardless of what situation it is, here are the things you need to consider before making your next steps:
- Who profits from the account? For example, when you are reading a news think about who benefits from the statement and then you can start making you arguments.
- Demand the source. In all information there is a source. Trust your guts, if you feel like something doesn’t sound right, trace down the sources. Be careful with unreliable sources that don’t have endorsements especially on the internet where satirical news is spread widely to thousands or probably millions of people online.
- Find out apparent statements tricks. These types of statements are common and sometimes unnoticeable. Looking out for these so-called holes in statements can help your brain to be more efficient and critical.
Second, do not be hesitated to ask questions. Asking questions is good to train your brain to be more critical and efficient. It keeps your brain alert and ready at all times. Questions helps you better understand a situation or statements and it also allows you to point out your impression or opinions regarding a certain matter. Train your brain to connect with ideas and critical thinking as you go about the situation. Furthermore, asking question is also a sign that you are paying attention to what is being said this is a great indicator that you are a great listener.
Third, practice as often as you can. Remember the old sayings “practice makes perfect”, however I believe that “practice makes permanent”. Nobody is perfect but when we practice it will become part of us and it will be something permanent. Do this in your head and shape your critical thinking. I would suggest taking notes, writing, blogging, healthy debates with friends and colleagues or reading extensively. These exercises can help you practice voicing out your opinion and point of view in a healthy ways.
Fourth, cut down the TV. Televisions can make your brain lazy. According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the more you watch the less you know. Researchers has shown that people who watched television other internet broadcasts minimum of four hours a day has the lowest intellectual score than those who are not interested with watching televisions. Televisions have a major effect to the brain. The study from Iowa State University proved that students who watch televisions a day are more likely to develop attention disorders.
Fifth, give yourself a time out. With that being said, it is okay to say “I don’t know” or “I need more time to think it through”. Scientists believe that our brain can only contain from five to seven bits of information at the same time. This is where confusion crawls in and you are unable to juggle these bits of information in your brain. Rather than trying to play hero and solve something that you are not sure about, it is time for a time-out. Rest your mind for few minutes or longer if you need more time, sort everything out and put it back to pieces.
Nurture your brain to better knowledge and understanding. There will be a lot more of thinking, analyzing and observing but the result will make you proud of yourself. It will make your brain more efficient, focused and a good problem solver in the near future.