Quality Thinking Tips

Let me ask you this?  Do you have a clear, calm mind most of your day? Do you find your thoughts drifting? Do you find your mind is generally cluttered with a whole load of ‘internal mind chatter’? 

Quality Thinking is defined as being focused, efficient, and productive in your thought process.  It is the ability to think clearly, deeply, and productively. Although it is one of the most valuable professional skills in the workplace today, it’s also becoming one of the most endangered. 

Perhaps random, pointless, or unhelpful thoughts just create ‘noise’ inside your head. You are focused on worries, doubts, negative thoughts, and even giving yourself a hard time for a seeming lack of progress. At a time when we need clear and productive thinking the most, our thinking is invaded by useless and unproductive thoughts. 

The next wave of AI technologies will profoundly challenge those engaged in “thinking” work. In the not-too-distant future, machines will be responsible for a significant share of the value embedded in any product or service. This includes knowledge worker tasks such as copywriting and coding that are already seeing substantial productivity improvements in the short time these new AI-powered solutions have been in the market. 

The TRUTH of Quality Thinking is that it must be a deliberate act, one that we set time apart for and enter with goals in mind.  We need to adapt and change how we think and work, which requires developing the mindsets, skillsets, and habits of creative, critical thinkers. These new mindsets and skills apply to everyone in the organization, not just leaders, as AI will create greater autonomy when greater knowledge and more powerful tools are accessible to everyone in the organization. 

So, what is Quality Thinking and how do we obtain it? Quality Thinking applies critical thinking concepts to average people to obtain better judgment to improve decision-making. Let’s break out Quality Thinking and define the two terms separately. 

The “Thinking” aspect to produce refers to the critical thinking methods and practices that are learned, refined, and applied. It’s the process. “Quality” refers to outcomes, where you can point to this thinking process producing better results. For example, new products launched, increased revenue, improved customer retention, better sales win rates, lower product defects, etc. 

Now let’s define some additional relevant terms: 

1. Critical Thinking: Ability to evaluate facts from opinions and true information from false 

2. Collaborative Thinking: Openly engaging with and building on the ideas of others (e.g., brainstorming, discussion groups, etc.) 

3. Reflective Thinking: Introspective thinking, in which one is aware of and evaluates themselves and their lives, as well as how their actions may impact others 

4. Higher Order Thinking: Clear, deep, productive thinking 

Anything less will not produce creative results, real solutions, or lasting systems. We are all capable of Quality Thinking, we just must apply what we know in new ways with optimism and a sense of confidence. 

And now the HOW?

Quality Thinking Tips include:

Carving out time for calm: Create moments of serenity in your day. Find a quiet space to reflect, meditate, or simply breathe. Calmness allows for clearer thinking. 

Focus on what you can control: Often, we get caught up in external factors beyond our influence. Direct your attention to aspects you can actively manage. 

Visualize the outcome: Before entering high-stress situations, imagine the desired result. Visualizing success can positively impact your actions. 

Tune in to other people’s needs: Empathy and understanding are essential. Consider others’ perspectives and needs when making decisions. 

Prioritize sleep: Quality rest improves cognitive function. Aim for sufficient and restful sleep. 

Solve puzzles: Engage your mind with puzzles, riddles, or brain teasers. They stimulate critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Meditate: Regular meditation enhances focus, reduces stress, and promotes mental clarity. 

Remain open-minded and inquisitive: Avoid assumptions and be curious. Explore different viewpoints and seek deeper understanding. 

Ask questions and dig deep: Don’t accept information at face value. Investigate, inquire, and seek comprehensive knowledge. 

Stay Objective: Keep your own biases and perceptions in check to stay as objective as possible.

Use these tips to become focused, efficient, and productive in your thought process. Do not let the machines win!