Exercises to develop the speed of thinking
Has this ever happened to you? When scrolling in the head the talks you just had or your participating in the stormy discussion, you understood with disappointment that, unfortunately, only now, in some time, the right argument or an exact replica came to your head? And the train, as they say, has already left. What determines the speed of decision-making, and how to develop the speed of thinking?
Let us turn to a simple comparison. Have you noticed how different is the speed of informational flow of a movie in a cinema hall and a series on TV? When making a film, the directors are well aware of the situation in which the audience will watch it, and depending on this they choose the appropriate speed for the development of the plot. In the cinema, you are fully involved in what is happening on the screen.
The tempo rhythm at which information is presented is so high that, in order to facilitate perception, they remove the other stimuli, turning off the light in the hall. On the contrary, at home you are watching the series in a measured tempo, you have the opportunity to run to the refrigerator for something tasty, get distracted by a phone call, and still be aware of the events occurring on the screen.
The brain of different people also works in different tempo rhythms. Someone is easily guided in the information flow, falling on him like frames of an action film, and someone is able to process only the speed of the tempo of the soap opera. The speed of information processing available to a person is called the speed of thinking.
The development of speed of thinking is one of the directions of development of a disciplined mind.
The speed of thinking is determined by the speed of the flow of the main nervous processes - excitation and slowdown. These are psychophysiological characteristics, and they are not affected by a simple effort of will. But what can really be done is to achieve an increase in the speed of information processing with the help of training your mind.
So, here are 10 effective exercises for the development of speed of thinking.
1. Scenario “What if ...”
Preparing for difficult negotiations or a meeting where you will be required to promptly respond to a rapidly changing situation, think over possible scenarios in advance. Ask yourself what you will say in response to this and that question, or how you will act in this or that situation, or how you parry your opponent's point of view.
Such trainings are useful because they encourage you to build probabilistic models of the future in your head. Use the proactive calculation of possible event variants as a simulator, because by imagining a situation, you can arbitrarily speed up or slow down the speed of your reasoning.
2. Exercise the Purity of Your Speech
All our “hm”, “how to say it”, “well” and other words - parasites slow down the pace of our reasoning, adding sounds that do not contain any useful information. First, practice your observation by recording the parasitic words in the speech of your interlocutors. Then compare this speech with yours. Find similarities. And start training, slowly but surely clearing your speech from non-informative and meaningless words - simulacra.
As long as your vocabulary is littered with this verbal garbage, the tempo of your thoughts will be slower than the tempo with which you can actually think.
3. Practice thinking in another language
When you have the opportunity to have a discussion outside a rigid time frame, force your brain to reason in a foreign, not native language. The process that you are starting is similar to how Tibetan monks are trained. Performing various physical exercises with a load, they can then perform the same exercises without a load many times easier and faster.
The same principle works here: forcing the brain to build the logic of reasoning in a non-native language, you train it so that it can do the same in your own language much faster.
4. Reading with a stopwatch
Read the chapter of any book as quickly as possible. Note the time you need for reading. Now note the time again and quickly retell the basic information you just read. Perform this exercise regularly, each time trying to reduce both the time for reading and the time for retelling what you’ve read. Thus you develop the speed of perception and the speed of reproduction of information at the same time.
5. Speed alphabet
Put a piece of letters of the alphabet in front of you. As soon as possible, think up 3 words beginning with each letter of the alphabet: three words on “a”, then three words on “b” and so on up to the letter “z”. Gradually increase the number of words to come up with up to 10.
To complicate this exercise, use the stopwatch again. Measure how long it takes you to pick up 30 words. Then try to reduce this time, accelerating the pace of task execution.
6. Expensive calls
Sometimes abroad, money for international mobile phone calls finishes very fast. Imagine that every second of your conversation costs a lot of money. Remembering the conversation that you just had with someone, take it as a rule to mentally repeat it so as to minimize its time. Think how it would be possible to clear this conversation of unnecessary information noise - unnecessary phrases and questions, without which it would be possible to speak.
Practice by engaging in business dialogue with anyone if the situation permits. Imagine answering a phone where calls are very expensive. Try to accelerate the dialogue, speak and think faster than you usually do. Focus only on the main point, select only the most accurate words, do not be distracted from the topic, speak and answer quickly.
7. Define your priorities
To practice quick thinking, use the practice of prioritization. Everything you deal with, make contacts, everything that surrounds you, you can rank from important to optional and useless. This is the habit of ranking structures of your personal information space.
Just as it is easy for you to find the necessary things where they are arranged in a certain order known to you, it will be easy for you to search for the information you need to make a decision. Although this recommendation can hardly be attributed to developmental exercises, following it means to prepare your brain in advance for quick decisions.
8. Read humorous stories
Not just stories. You can also make a rule to look at humorous pictures. Sense of humor is always associated with a high speed of response to the situation. Plus, the ability to see the non-obvious contradiction and identify it in the most vivid and accurate words. All this together is the speed of thinking.
Do not just read or memorize witty jokes, but strive to understand what the jokes are all about, why does it cause laughter?
Picking up a collection of puns will also be beneficial to your mind. By accumulating such an unusual response experience, you train your brain to produce something similar at the right moment.
9. "Upside down"
This exercise has something in common with exercise 3, but it is much easier to do it. And, besides, more fun. When you pick up a magazine or a book, or a newspaper, turn it over so that you can change the top and bottom and scroll through, looking at the pictures and photos placed there.
Try to understand what is depicted there, and do it as quickly as possible. Thus you train your brain will learn to recognize non-obvious signals, to orient itself in the situation of "shifters". And, most importantly, not to be satisfied with the first answer, but to delve into a deeper assessment of the situation. You can also place complex intricate picture on the desktop of your computer "upside down".
10. Change the speed
Since we speak about quick thinking, it is worth practicing in controlling the speed of your processes. Do the same thing, changing the speed of its implementation. For example, you can brush your teeth at different speed, drink a glass of water, read a letter received by mail. Intentionally, by speeding up, then by slowing down your actions, you teach your brain to work in different tempo rhythms. Try to gradually make slow performance even slower. And, on the contrary, speed up fast performance every now and then
These exercises will have no effect if they are not performed regularly. Performing one task every day will stimulate your brain to develop in the right direction.
If you really intend to approach the solution of the problem seriously, how to develop the speed of thinking exercises proposed here will help you
• to respond promptly to a problem situation,
• not to regret that the necessary decision came to mind late,
• protect your brain against early aging and devastating diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease.