Whether you just need to stop and gather your thoughts, make a decision or just come up with a plan, we all need to think. Once you get rid of or ignore the distractions it’s suddenly just you and your brain. You have to think your way through. Here are some tips to becoming a better thinker.
Be patient. Don’t expect to have an answer for yourself right away. Take some time to get more information, discuss things with others, or just give your mind some time to wander or begin the process of brainstorming.
Set goals. Arrange your time, don’t look at just the long range, put things into smaller steps, short range goals which you can work on towards the bigger picture.
Be curious. Let your mind have room to work, track down new facts and ideas. Consider new solutions and alternative plans to your usual way of thinking and acting.
Think logically. Look at a question from all sides, check your work, see what you may have missed or not considered. Make a plan with sensible solutions you can support with solid evidence for success.
Ask questions. Don’t forget the basic who, why, what, when, where and how. You can’t get answers if you don’t ask the questions.
Think for yourself. Develop your own system for problem solving. Learn from how others think, make plans and then add their best ideas to your own way of doing things, in your own style.
Be creative. Invent, redesign, experiment and try new things. Keep your mind fresh by not letting yourself stagnate.
Make connections. Use comparisons and use what your have learned from your experiences, network with other people.
Be self aware. Know when you need to slow down, take a break, regroup, switch your plan, maybe even start again. Monitor how you work and whether or not it’s working for you.
Write things down. Clarify your thoughts, push yourself to think things out by writing them down, taking time to expand and explain how you are thinking and what you are thinking to yourself. You may find a whole new direction which you had not considered.