We do not start life out as organized thinkers. Instead, we gain organization through our parents, teachers, and other influencers as we age and develop a brain that can handle multiple tasks and thoughts at once without imploding. Some of us have better teachers or care a great deal about being very organized, but many of us develop habits when we are kids that are difficult to change as we get older, and that leads us to be more “disorganized” in our thoughts and processes.
Let’s get a myth out of the way before we launch into some tips on how to be more organized in your thinking. You do not have to be a linear thinker to be organized. There is also no right or wrong way to approach more organized thinking. Instead, it is your commitment to changing how you think that will determine your success in this endeavor.
You want to be a person who doesn’t want to forget things, who arrives on time rather than being late or have more career success than before, and those are just three reasons why you are learning more about organized thinking. You know you have a problem, and you want a solution from someone who has gone through the same things. An extensive list of testimonials and personal stories could fill this page. However, you are going to get more from the tips than the stories.
Why Being an Organized Thinker Is Important
There are at least four reasons why being an organized thinker is essential.
- Career success
- You gain more sequential reasoning
- Leads to better planning
- You gain a more holistic picture of what occurred in the past, what is happening, and what may need to happen
If you struggle in your career because you turn in your assignments late, half-finished, or you get them done on time but must revise them, you need to have more organization. By learning to be an organized thinker, you are also going to gain a more holistic approach through sequential reasoning, which leads to better planning and execution of daily and career-oriented tasks. As you learn a better thinking process, you will also be able to view what occurred in your past with an open mind, let hurtful things go, and focus on what is happening in the “now,” while also examining what the future offers.
People are better human beings when they can face the past, let the difficulties and hurt go, and face the future unencumbered. Let’s say you had a job, and you lost it because you were unable to meet deadlines, you could never get organized, and finally, your boss had enough of the angry customers and coworkers due to your disorganized thoughts and work processes.
Such a situation can haunt you. You may feel aggrieved because you know you did your best, but you couldn’t quite seem to become the person needed for the job. Well, now you can. Now is your chance to take action by learning the tips and becoming a better-organized thinker.
Using Sequential Reasoning: What Is It and Why Is It Important?
Sequential reasoning is your ability to mentally process information and then organize it. You can also think of sequential thoughts as being analytical. You can use this type of reasoning to automatically shuffle through your thoughts, organize copious amounts of data, and complete tasks. The concept is a step-by-step process which differs from a holistic approach.
Holistic thinking is designed to look at large-scale patterns and react to them. Often, this type of thinker believes events are products of external factors. Holistic thinkers examine relationships, backgrounds, visual scenes, and context without always moving in a step-by-step way. Truthfully, you want both holistic and sequential reasoning skills.
Sequential reasoning facilitates communication, both oral and written, which ensures your personal and professional relationships are happier and holistic. Creating sequential reasoning will help you with speaking and writing communications that are thoughtful, helpful, and filled with kindness. By its nature, this type of thinking also leads to establishing proper dependency on alignment assignments, so you have visible plans, schedules, and explanations for yourself and others. It is a straightforward process of outlines that help you with any task or job. With sequential reasoning, you will have aids for consistency and memory.
A few of the tools that can help you with this type of reasoning and ensure you are an organized thinker include:
- Using a one-page document, with pictures to help you visualize the tasks.
- If you are not an artist, then consider a Day Planner or PDA (personal data assistant) to record lists, tasks, and other information you require.
- To-do lists are an effective way to ensure you keep your thoughts organized and planned to better help you during the day or when something does not go as you hoped.
Practice Leads to Habits
The heading is an adage that makes perfect sense even though it is not always completely realistic. Practice and repetition are how we build habits, good or bad, and humans – like most mammals – are habitual. We depend on our routines to get through life, whether it is to make sure we pick the kids up on time or to keep our anxiety levels low. We all tend to have things we do, good or bad, that get us through the day.
- Set a goal, such as being a more organized thinker
- Create a daily goal for you to meet, something small and easy to do
- Repeat the regular goal creation until you reach your larger goal
By creating a new habit that you want to have and setting smaller goals to achieve the behavior, you slowly but surely change yourself to adapt to the new way. This can work with anything, not just becoming a more organized thinker.
Developing Consilience: What Is It and Why Is It Important?
Consilience is used in science and history as a principle to look at evidence from unrelated, independent sources and come to a stronger conclusion. Consilience is also a way to gain a big picture understanding by examing the concepts and/or principles from different disciplines leveraging similar and related concepts to form and communicate a comprehensive, unified theory.
Examine multiple concepts and data points and ensure the knowledge “jumps together” to form a fact-based theory. So, by using both holistic and analytical thinking, you should be able to come up with new ways of thinking about projects, life, and all thoughts and come to a conclusion on how best to approach the tasks and goals.
Consilience is essential because as you become a more organized thinker, you can meld your holistic approach into an analytical thought process as needed.
Summing Up Organized Thinking
It is not a linear thought process, but a culmination of holistic and sequential reasoning. You take your thoughts and reach a conclusion based on all the data you have. But it will take practice. You can start today to change how you will become an organized thinker.
Start small with one goal that leads to your larger goal.
For example, your first actionable task is to open a calendar on your phone, tablet, or computer. Enter in known activities. The information can deal with events or bills you need to pay throughout the month. These are things that will happen, so you can plan for them around your other daily activities like going to work or making dinner.
You want to establish a routine where you organize your life so you can organize your thoughts.
When it comes to projects, in personal or professional settings, you want to record the deadlines for when those projects need to start, the small tasks it takes to complete them, and the date the activity should be completed. Let’s consider building a house. A house requires certain inspections along the way, and the permit is time-sensitive. From the date you get the permit, you have six months for the first inspection and a year to complete the house. If you think of projects in stepping stones, then you can get your thoughts to organize around the tasks.
Writers will outline a topic, then follow a pattern taught to them in school, such as stating a problem, a solution, and providing a sensical flow to their thoughts. But it all starts with an outline, whether you map it out or go linear. Being an organized thinker is about taking the whole pie, forming the thoughts, and then streamlining them.