Productivity: Critical Thinking Mistakes You Need To Overcome
By Rox Cuevas
It has more far-reaching benefits than you imagined! Critical thinking may sound a bit academic, but it can be valuable when applied even to practical situations at school, office, home, and life. With faster-paced timelines and information-rich resources posted as big challenges to everyone by today’s new internet economy, the call for high performance and productivity will seem to definitely grow further.
How to produce more output in little or no time at all may send off many to a quest for pricey solutions, but the key may actually just lie with simple critical thinking. In fact, critical thinking skill was identified as top important skill needed from organizational leadership to be competitive in the 21st century.
This involves the practice of systematic thinking that draws from logic, truth, context, and options while using data and facts to solve situations. Since critical thinking could influence thoughts, then thoughts can be mobilized to affect actions.
With a better thinking process, wiser decisions could be reached, faster results can be accomplished, and hence, overall greater happiness may be achieved.
What’s good about critical thinking is that can be learned and developed! So next time you find yourself wandering around and lagging behind schedule, keeping in mind these critical thinking habits can turn you around to become more productive wherever you’re at.
What's bad about the critical thinking process is that most people fail to garner results despite putting in their best efforts. In this post, we'll discuss mistakes that hamper productivity. Here we go.
1. You are not zeroing down to the problem
To be systematic, critical thinking starts with a purpose which should set you off with a problem to solve. Try asking these questions: What’s exactly the output you want to produce? What specific outcome you want your actions to result to? Whatever that is, the problem must be clearly identified and defined.
For instance before opting for a rigid food diet program, determine first whether what you’re aiming for is a weight loss, increased energy, or improved nutrition. It helps sometimes to break down a large chunk into smaller bits so you can dig into the problem more easily.
2. You are not considering different perspectives
It wouldn’t harm if you keep open to alternative opinions, especially from industry influencers or key opinion leaders who can provide trustworthy advice for more feasible solutions.
Considering different perspectives actually permits you to see through others’ eyes, thus leading you to approach the solution more creatively or even from “out-of-the-box”. As you recognize others’ perspectives, it’s proper to cite your sources to build up a strong case for the solution if ever you decide to act on it later.
3. You are not getting a hand from brainstorming
You may not always have the answers to a given problem. Or sometimes, a problem’s solution may be drawn in different possible ways. When you have this inkling, brainstorming with a group can be worth the try to gather and list down viable options that can be narrowed down to the most promising solutions.
Remember, critical thinking is more inclined with getting things right than with being right every time.
4. You rush to judgments before gathering sufficient data
Premature conclusions are an absolute NO-NO to critical thinking! Guesswork or hearsays won’t absolutely help in any way. Focus instead your efforts on the gathering of data to bring light to complex solutions.
Also equally important when doing data gathering is determining which sources are credible given the plethora of internet information around. It’s helpful to refer to a checklist guide on how to evaluate online resources so you may know how to tell which one is authentic from a hoax.
5. You do not go beyond the face value of data
Critical thinking goes past the face value of data. Data accuracy and inclusion of any assumptions should always to be checked to fill up breaks in truth and logic during the thinking process.
Maybe, you’re quick to assume that the data handed to you by a close officemate is reliable when in fact the person is neither competent nor knowledgeable at all about the subject. When this happens, pause for a while, step back, and think again.
6. You are ignoring the “Big” and “Small” picture
Once you have sufficient data and facts, you can try linking them together like pieces of a puzzle when analyzing. Be mindful of similar patterns, surfacing trends, cause and effect behavior, and other telling signs that could make way for more meaningful and relevant information as a basis for sound conclusions later.
By continuously asking questions like what does this mean?, how does this relate to that?, or why was this included?, you’re able to connect the “small” picture elements with the “big” picture, which is the ultimate problem that needs to be solved.
7. You rely on emotions, rather than logic
Critical thinking puts the prime value on logical reasoning. Strive to remain with the objective side by getting rid of emotional factors when evaluating statements. For instance, your thinking may be affected by preferential biases or selective listening.
Also, sometimes, it’s just convenient to be too accepting to avoid confrontational conflicts. When you drift from reason, try to think out loudly and clearly as a way of filtering out emotions. This could let you get through with a valid examination of case arguments.
8. You are not drawing logical conclusions
Conclusions drawn out from the practice of critical thinking must follow logically from the supporting information and evidence available at hand. As different solutions may answer for different situations, logical conclusions should also be able to determine what can best work for the problem identified at the beginning.
9. You are thinking short-term
Somehow, critical thinking also doesn’t just end with the task of making facts-based conclusions. You also need to be critical of what may be the long-term implications of your decisions.
While no one has a hold of the future, training yourself to think long-term will encourage you to be a continuous learner for information which could be vital for the present and future time.
10. You are in a hurry to take action
When you’ve gotten all possible solutions sorted out, don’t jump too quickly towards the best obvious option. You may try the reverse elimination process to arrive at the best solution by dashing out first the least viable alternative, then moving on to the next least, and so on. This trick helps further refine your
This trick helps further refine your thought selection and decision-making by trying to look at all “what-if” possibilities. Upon eliminating the rest of the options, take action next by implementing your decision.
The practice of critical thinking isn’t as complex as what its concept may sound. With its practical application at school, office, home, and life, its valuable benefits can translate to wiser decision-making and problem-solving, increased productivity, and overall greater happiness.
In fact, critical thinking serves as a crucial skill for organizational leadership to better compete in today’s new Internet economy. With just a conscious effort and firm desire to elevate the quality of your self-thinking process, you too could be able to infuse any, if not all, of the critical thinking habits wherever you’re at.
Rox Cuevas handles freelance consultancy in digital marketing and e-commerce. In between days, she carries on with her considerable, hands-on work experience in consumer brand marketing, small business entrepreneurship, and blog content writing.