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Critical Thinking Skills: 5 Ways To Escape The Lure Of Distractions

Posted by Jimmy Hovey on Tue, Feb 21, 2012 @ 09:10 PM

Developing Critical Thinking Skills Is Nearly Impossible With Distractions


Thanks to the development of new media, which includes the Internet, emails and text messaging, attention spans are much shorter than they used to be. 

New technologies are constantly being invented to automate our daily life processes. This keeps us looking for simple short cuts to things, rather than spending quality time thinking them through.

Critical thinking just doesn't seem convenient in this new age of instant resolutions. This is not just affecting our personal lives.....It is having a major impact on our daily business lives too!

5 Tips To Escape The Lure Of Distractions To Develop
Critical Thinking Skills

In the business world, it's vitally important to pay close attention to details and remain focused. Here are five simple tips to help you escape the lure of distractions while developing your critical thinking skills

1. Examine the Situation

Take a good look around you. Do you know what's going on and what's not going on in your business?

This is a skills that quality, top level senior managers have learned to master. They have a way of dropping in on a meeting, asking a few intelligent questions that provoke critical thinking, soliciting input from employees, and calling for innovative ideas.

2. Debate the Choices

Even when you're the boss, or an entrepreneur, it's important to remember that all ideas aren't necessarily equal. For your business to pump out prosperous projects, everyone must learn to collaborate as a team.

This is a great use of team critical thinking skills. One idea can be presented to the entire team. Then, each individual build off of the ideas of the others' contributions, coming up with a collaborative collection of quality ideas.

Debating these choices as a team helps to come up with better ideas than you would as one, single person.

3. Reflection Time

Taking time to reflect on choices and decisions is an important step that many businesses fail to address. People complain about not having time to reflect on things.

Step away from the computer, head to the coffee shop or Library leave your phone in the car. Take a simple notebook and just think for a 30 minute stretch with no distractions.   

But, in order to be successful in business, we must make time for it. Schedule it on your calendar if you have to.

Reflection helps us to evaluate the progress made (or not made) so far by our current decisions.

4. Keep a Journal

Successful business owners know that keeping a journal can be very helpful in the critical thinking strategies.

When we write, two disciplines are practiced: organization and reflection. When we write our thoughts out, this critical thinking strategy forces us to consider the decisions we've made, as well as the outcomes we've achieved, good and bad.

You don't need a fancy leather bound journal or a computer program.  I just use a single subject notebook that you can get from Staples. A single subject notebook has about 70 pages, just about enough for an entire month.  

(Note: Get different colors so you can alternated between months...I like Red, so I got a bunch of them, but way too confusing to look up my old notes)

5. Learn to Multi-Task

Everyone in your organization needs to have some type of multi-tasking skills to be of value to the company. We must learn how to pay attention to tasks, problems and opportunities as they come to us.

Sometimes, last minute changes can't be avoided. Our multi-tasking skills will help us be able to switch from one task, to something that needs our immediate attention. But, no matter how busy we get, we must still make time for utilizing our critical thinking skills.

Distractions Will Always Exist

Distractions have always been a nuisance in the business world. But, with the popularity of new media, it's even more important to learn how to deal with distractions. This is the realistic approach, as new media will only continue to grow.

It's not going away. Therefore, it's important that we manage personal and business time more effectively. This allows us to put more thought into how we can provide better quality work by paying closer attention.

Follow these tips to help you use critical thinking skills to escape the distractions in your busy business world.

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Occasionally, I hold open office hours on www.ohours.org and I have a couple of slots open for 2-21-12.  There is no cost to you, just a dedicated 20 minutes to talk business and expand each others network...no commitments...no bs....I guess you could say NSA type of thing.  Check it out....it is a lot of fun, plus you might learn something!!!  

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Topics: critical thinking strategies, critical thinking skills, critical thinking

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