One of the most sought-after skills for remote work is critical thinking. Critical thinking is a person’s ability to analyze data without any biases, so they can make sense of it. This ability allows employees to solve work-related issues with little to no difficulty.
Aside from helping you in thinking on the job, critical thinking is also a valuable life skill. Have you ever wondered why so many Filipinos fall prey to scams and fake news? That’s right. As sad as it may sound, many of us don’t really hone our critical thinking skills.
With this in mind, here are six tricks to enhance critical thinking that you can use. These can be used to improve both your skills for remote work and in life. Critical thinking isn’t a lesson that you only need to learn once. It is a continuous process of challenging yourself to go beyond your biases and see information objectively all the time.
Drop your Biases.
Let us start this discussion with abandoning your biases when analyzing information. Sounds so easy, right? After all, it’s just looking at your problems in an objective way so you can come up with a solution. Oh wait, that’s the hard part. Many, including myself, find it difficult to separate our biases from affecting our judgment, both at work and in life.
Leaving your biases means discarding whatever initial ideas you may have with your data before analyzing them. This allows you to get a more rounded and complete understanding of your data. Which then allows you to come up with a better solution to your problem. Think about it this way: you can’t see the entire picture if you just focused on one part, right?
Another trick to enhance your critical thinking is doing more research. I know, I know. Researching is so tedious. Researching takes so much time. Why can’t I just open one link I saw on the internet and call it a day? Because just like working out, you won’t improve your critical thinking if you don’t put effort into improving the way you think.
You may then ask: “But how will researching help me in my online job?” For some jobs, such as marketing or accounting, research is an essential part of their jobs. But for those whose jobs usually don’t require them to research much, research helps keep your mind sharp and improve your analytical and decision-making skills.
In addition, research also exposes you to many sources of information, some of which may conflict with one another. This allows you to practice analyzing data and determine which you should believe in and which ones not to.
Be Wary of Suspicious or Unverified Information.
Connected to my previous point is this one. When researching or doing your work, make sure to verify any information you receive. Many unscrupulous individuals take advantage of people’s ignorance to earn money or advance their agendas. They do this by producing fake news articles and studies to stir public sentiment for their ends.
Don’t be one of their victims by carefully reading and analyzing any information you receive, either via text message, email, or social media. Be sure that you’re only getting information from reliable sources such as news sites and scientific journals. If you’re unsure of your source’s credibility, try to cross-reference their information from other sources to see if it’s true or not.
Brainstorm with your Colleagues.
Another way to hone your critical thinking and social skills is by brainstorming with your colleagues. Doing this allows you to gain insight into how your colleagues think and their perspectives on whatever problem you’re facing. Brainstorming also enables you to present your ideas and explain them to your colleagues.
Discussing and explaining your ideas enables your colleagues to critique your work and provide constructive criticism. Remember, not all criticism is negative. Taking criticism allows you to look objectively at your ideas and find ways to improve them.
Get some Rest.
Yes, you read that right. Speaking from experience, you can’t think straight if you’ve only got two hours of sleep the previous night. Having a good night’s rest allows your brain to rest and re-energize. So when morning comes, you’ll be refreshed and ready for work.
Aside from letting your brain regain its strength, having an eight-hour sleep also helps reduce your stress as well. Having enough sleep also increases your alertness and your ability to concentrate. This improves your ability to focus on your tasks. And improves your productivity as a result.
Do some Self-Reflection from time to time.
And finally, when you have some time to spare, try practicing some self-reflection. You may ask: “What’s self-reflection got to do with improving your critical thinking?” Well, self-reflection allows you to analyze yourself for a change. Asking these objective questions lets you examine your life and the direction it’s heading.
Another benefit of self-reflection, aside from improving your critical thinking, is that it keeps your ego in check. Self-reflecting forces you to look at yourself objectively and see your strengths and weaknesses.
And that is it! Here are the six simple tricks you can do to improve your critical thinking skills for remote work and in life. I know from experience that trying to change the way you think is very challenging. But with these tricks, you will have an easier time improving your critical thinking skills.