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These Are The 10 Thinking Skills Of Successful People Which Make Them Different

These Are The 10 Thinking Skills Of Successful People Which Make Them Different

Have you ever wondered what the thinking skills are that separate normal people from successful people? Here are 10 thinking skills of successful people which make them different.

Positive thinking

Successful people realize that their mentality can affect all aspects of their life, including success. Researchers have found that positive thinking opens people up to developing new skills, which can have a compounding effect among happy people who repeat this process. For example, if you start a habit of running for enjoyment and then do well in a marathon, you’ll take that happiness to fuel learning how to rock climb (and then take that success to move on to something else, and so on). Positive thinking can also have numerous health benefits: People who practice positive thinking have been shown to have increased life spans, lower rates of depression, greater resistance to colds and disease, and better coping skills during stressful periods.

Utilize risk-oriented thinking

Highly successful leaders think big and dream bigger than most. When you learn how to push the envelope and dare to go where no one else has even looked yet, you’ll be admired as a risk taker, someone who dares to gamble–and because you dare more, you’ll have more.

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Inference Thinking

Having the ability to understand and recognize what elements you will need in order to determine an accurate conclusion or hypothesis, from the information you have at your disposal.

Picture yourself as a business manager; you are looking at the latest sales forecast and you see sales have decreased. It’s important for you to be able to understand what additional information you may need in order to determine why that happened, including identifying internal issues, external competition or even economic conditions. The ability to understand the information you already have and determine what you may still need to find the best solution, is an important skill for you to have no matter what career field you are in.

Harness focused thinking

Focused thinking shuts out interruptions and interference, allowing you to concentrate with clarity. When you can focus your thinking, you are able to bring clarity to challenges, targets, and results.

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Analytical thinking

Analytical intelligence involves the conscious direction of our mental processes to find a thoughtful solution to a problem. It is the ability to overcome obstacles to find a solution. Being analytically intelligent is having the ability to solve problems effectively.

Engage in inquisitive thinking. Successful leaders spend their time questioning everything they know and everything they don’t know. When you question, you gain knowledge, and when you gain knowledge, you have impact. To be impactful, you to have to question what everyone else is taking for granted. And that alone can give you a leg up on innovation and creativity.

Creative thinking

Creative intelligence is the ability to come up with new ideas. With creative intelligence, a person can generate innovative solutions to solve problems.

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In simple words, way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective that suggests unorthodox solutions (which may look unsettling at first). Creative thinking can be stimulated both by an unstructured process such as brainstorming, and by a structured process such as lateral thinking.

Reflective thinking

Take the time to reflect before you act, listen before you speak, understand before you respond, and engage your compassion before you react. When you take the time to reflect, it gives perspective. It allows you the bandwidth to see what is truly going on without being emotionally charged. Reflective thinking enables you to distance yourself, so you can see things with a new pair of eyes.

Shared thinking

Collaborative thinkers like to hear what other people are thinking so they can expand their own ideas. As much as we like to think we know it all, the best kind of thinking–the kind that brings the greatest return–is not done solo but is shared.

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Strategic thinking

Strategic thinkers can simplify the difficult, prepare for uncertainties, and reduce the margin of errors–all because they have a plan. Strategic thinking makes you a great planner, which is how you move easily from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow.

Explore big-picture thinking

Big-picture thinkers are always ready to see things that other people cannot see; they are able to size up a situation and take all the variables into account. Once you can connect dots like no one else, you’ll always be prepared to seize an opportunity when the time is right.

Featured photo credit: http://nos.twnsnd.co/ via nos.twnsnd.co

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed, and exhausted. Therefore, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, it’s time to do something about it.

Here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm, leaving you calmer, in control, and a lot less stressed at work.

1. Write Everything Down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when work feels overwhelming is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s occupying your thoughts[1].

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind, write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind.”

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will help you stop feeling overwhelmed at work. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have emptied your head, go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. You can learn how to create a more meaningful to-do list here.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago to help when work feels overwhelming. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and we humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take[2]:

When feeling overwhelmed at work, use Parkinson's Law.

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad. It’s more wishful thinking than bad judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage when we’re feeling overwhelmed at work. If you have estimated that to write five important emails will take ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is that you put yourself under a little time pressure, and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time, so it plays tricks on us, and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our team members to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening, and we get more focused and more work done. This will help when work feels overwhelming.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos to avoid getting overwhelmed at work. Schedule time for each task, especially high priority tasks, while also grouping together similar tasks. This will help relieve stress and anxiety in your daily work life.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done, and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer, and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one[3]. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend, or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss or a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away and will only make you feel more overwhelmed at work. You need to make a decision to deal with it, and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved.

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed, and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend about the problem.

    He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem, and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I pay a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first was: don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second: there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we are feeling overwhelmed at work (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

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    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

    It also means that, rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible, and you can make decisions about what to do about them.

    Often, it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be that you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    When work feels overwhelming, it’s not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work. It can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    It’s easy to feel like you have too much on your plate, but there are things you do to make it more manageable. 

    Make a decision, even if it’s just talking to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution.

    When you follow these strategies, you can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Josefa nDiaz via unsplash.com

    Reference

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