Critical Thinking – It Could Lead to More Coffee

How many decisions do we make in a day? I’m not just talking about the important ones like what questions we’ll ask during an interview for a new hire or whether or not you should speak up for our ideas during the next department meeting. I’m talking more general than that. If we include the mundane decisions like what size coffee to get in the morning, which route to take home from work or even whether to phone or e-mail someone. How many decisions do we make in a day? I’m willing to guess it’s hundreds.

From personal experience, I’m not convinced that we all do.

My morning routine is a perfect example: Yesterday, I was running late and chose to not get coffee even though I know it is a part of my “ramp up” routine in the morning. Without it, I was left groggy and less productive. Would it have been better to be five minutes late and productive all day? Yes and if I critically thought about the situation I would have stopped. Instead I let my assumption that punctuality is more important than the luxury of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee trump my ability to assess the situation.

Critical thinking is a buzzword in the workplace but it shouldn’t stop there. Even if it’s a morning routine, the decisions we make, no matter how mundane, affect other aspects of our lives. Why shouldn’t we be thinking critically about them?

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Elizabeth Pauker-Silva

3 responses to “Critical Thinking – It Could Lead to More Coffee”

  1. Breanne

    It’s amazing how the smallest decisions can have the largest impact. A few days ago, I decided to take a new route to my dentist. I thought I was avoiding traffic, but it turns out the new route has twice the traffic lights. It was definitely not a shortcut. One small decision, and I ran 30 minutes behind for the rest of the day…

  2. scott carbonara

    One reason we slip into habits and routines is to save some time and trouble of having to evaluate every decision we encounter. Developing healthy routines are certainly time-savers. But you make a good point about needing to evaluate the short, mid, and long term consequences of decsions we made at a point in the past when it may no longer be the best decision today. Nicely done.

  3. Think Watson Blog

    [...] week I blogged about how critical thinking isn’t just for workplace decisions. Instead the RED model approach [...]

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