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6 Daily Activities That Can Improve Your Analytical and Critical Thinking

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It is easy to get overwhelmed when a thousand things are happening around you at once. Trying to spare just a bit of your attention for all issues, you fall into a routine.

And this day-to-day cycle is what can impede your ability for creative, analytical, and critical thinking. More likely than not you know that exact feeling of numbness when your brain just doesn’t work like it’s supposed to.

To keep yourself operational and sane, you have to actively counteract this effect. Luckily, there are some really easy daily exercises that will help you stay sharp and focused.

Analytical Writing

More likely than not that you’ve seen and read such pieces. Specialized articles that go all about one subject cover it bit by bit, mentioning all the nuances.

The subjects can differ. The examples of analytical writing can range from an essay about a certain movie to some sort of complex physics problem overview. The author simply picks a topic of interest and explores it in writing.

It doesn’t have to be something complex. It doesn’t have to be read by anyone other than you. Just think about something you’re passionate about.

A book, a movie, a car, a game, anything. Write an essay about what it is and anything remotely interesting about the chosen subject. If you’re feeling a bit lost – look for an analytical essay example. The suggestions will help you out a lot.

Active Reading

Reading books is one of the first things that come to mind when the subject of improving one’s critical thinking pops up.

It doesn’t really matter if you’re reading paper books or browsing your digital library on an e-book reader or a tablet. What matters is not what you read but how you do it.

An active approach to this activity implies that you think over every single part, asking yourself questions on the go.

You can read fiction and analyze the characters and their motivation. One can opt for technical literature and double-check their statements and conclusions.

Instead of passively skipping through pages, make a conscious effort towards grasping every word. Make notes, take breaks to contemplate on what you’ve just read and conduct some research if you feel like doing it.

Be Skeptical

Be a skeptic. Question things that you’ve taken for granted up until now. Various sorts of investigators are the masters of this sort of approach. Here’s a great ABC rule for you:

Assume nothing;

Believe no one;

Check everything.

Seek out only the best factual information. Don’t take anyone’s authority for granted. Remember that even the brightest minds can make mistakes. Yes, that includes yourself.

Now as with most techniques, you have to keep your cool and know when to stop. Reading through contracts you’re signing and asking questions will serve you well.

Yet, don’t go the long mile here. Know when to relax and enjoy a moment of peaceful and quiet mind.

Plan Ahead

People that get lost in their daily routine rarely have to plan anything. They just sort of get taken by the current of the events happening around them.

As these events are pretty much the same comfort zone scenario repeating over and over again, they feel comfortable and safe. Even if your days are virtually the same, try scheduling them to the minute.

Think about what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. Take various factors into consideration. How do people you work with usually behave? What does your boss think about you? What is the weather forecast for tomorrow?

Soon enough you’ll find out that everything around you is interconnected.

Active Listening

Active listening is not only a technique that will help you improve analytical thinking.

It will also help you have productive discussions with your peers. The general rule of it is “assume your partner knows something you don’t”. Because they might.

Consider your opponent’s viewpoint during arguments. Be willing to change your position if the points from the other side prove to be better than yours.

After all, an argument is a pursuit of truth. So really you’re not fighting anyone, you’re working together to uncover the truth. Keep that in mind and look at the problem from different angles and your discussions will be much more enjoyable.

Self-Reflect

Going back and thinking about your actions, motivation and mistakes can provide invaluable insight. This analysis will help you catch your own mistakes and do better in the future.

After all, you are the best judge of your own character. If you did something in poor faith or made a mistake that was easily avoidable – you can always be the first person to know. Just be honest with yourself.

A common form of self-reflection is maintaining your own diary. Making it a habit is not only helpful for one’s concentration and awareness. This activity also proves to be quite a soothing experience.

Make notes about your day every evening, jot down your reflections, suggestion and expectations every morning. You will have your memory and analytical thinking improve in no time if you stick to this habit.

Final Words

Critical and analytical thinking is not something you are born with. It’s a skill anyone can develop. Just like you go to the gym to keep your muscles in shape, mental exercises can help one keep mind sharp and focused.

And just like physical exercise, you should know when to take a break and have some rest. Maintaining a constant sharpness of mind can be pretty tiring, so take it slow.

There are way more techniques that can be used to improve your critical and creative thinking. One should know that their effectiveness can vary from person to person.

So it is okay to try out various methods to find your own way of staying focused. A personalized approach is the best way to go about it.

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By Rover Explorer

Shubham likes to write about various educational and tech updates. In free time he likes to spend time in nature and exp...more

Shubham likes to write about various educational and tech updates. In free time he likes to spend time in nature and exploring the forests. less

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