Reboot Your Thinking: The Ctrl+Alt+Del Approach to Critical Thinking

Every once in a while we need to hit the reset button. When life gets too hectic, our days are over-scheduled, and information is coming at us faster than we can process it, we need to STOP and RESET. It’s like hitting the Ctrl+Alt+Del command on your computer when you have too many tabs and file folders open to be productive. The computer starts moving slowly and errors start popping up. Life works the same way. Taking a moment to wipe the slate clean gives us the opportunity to re-focus and re-prioritize our thoughts and actions.

While we typically reference the RED Model of Critical Thinking as a method for improving critical thinking, we think the Ctrl+Alt+Del approach is a fun way to frame the idea hitting the rest button on our thought processes.



Reboot your thinking by:


  • Control your biases
  • Control your emotions
  • Control and question your own assumptions


  • Seek out alternative viewpoints
  • Identify alternative solutions
  • Consider alternative (and opposing) arguments/evidence


  • Delete any conclusions that don’t follow the evidence
  • Eliminate solutions that can’t be executed
  • Remove any barriers to success

What other techniques do you have for rebooting your thought processes?

Learn more about critical thinking by downloading the Think About It! eBook.

Editor’s Note: Breanne Harris is the Solutions Architect for Pearson TalentLens. She works with customers to design selection and development plans that incorporate critical thinking assessments and training. She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and has experience in recruiting, training, and HR consulting. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter for more of her thoughts.

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