A Complete Guide on How To Think Logically For Any Occasion
Updated 21 July 2022
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Thinking logically is an important skill that anyone can use to help them rationalise their thoughts and create positive outcomes. Logical thinking is a combination of situational awareness and the ability to regulate your emotions productively so they do not interfere in your decision-making processes. When you hone your logical thinking skills, you are more likely to make choices that can benefit everyone.
In this article, we discuss what logical thinking is and why it is important, review how to think logically, explore the four components of this type of thinking and examine examples of logical thinking for different occasions.
What is logical thinking and why is it important?
Logical thinking is the act of analysing a situation and coming up with a sensible solution. Similar to critical thinking, logical thinking requires the use of reasoning skills to study a problem objectively, which will allow you to make a rational conclusion about how to proceed. When you use the facts available to you to address a problem you may be facing at work, for example, you are using logical reasoning skills.
Logical thinking is important because it can help you reason through important decisions, solve problems, generate creative ideas and set goals, all of which are necessary for developing your career. Whether you have just entered the workforce or want to advance your career, you may eventually encounter challenges that require logical reasoning skills. The stronger your logical thinking skills are, the more easily you can develop solutions and plans that benefit you and your workplace.
Related: Critical Thinking Skills: Definitions and Examples
How to think logically in 5 steps
Follow these five steps to think logically and develop your thinking capabilities:
1. Partake in creative activities
Creative outlets like drawing, painting, writing and playing music can stimulate the brain and help promote logical thinking. Creative thinking naturally develops problem-solving abilities that can help you become a better performer at work. Learning a new instrument, for example, requires deep thought and concentration. The logical thinking skills you can gain from this process can help you approach your work more intently, developing your ability to solve more problems with flexibility and ease.
In addition, creative hobbies help reduce stress. When your stress levels are manageable, you are more likely to have an easier time focusing and making logical decisions.
Related: Creative Thinking: Definition, Development and Advantages
2. Practice your ability to ask meaningful questions
One way to strengthen your ability to think logically is to ask questions about things you typically accept as fact. Regularly asking questions helps you gain a more comprehensive perspective, allowing you to approach problems more logically and creatively. Asking questions can often lead to discoveries about topics you had not considered before, which may encourage you to explore further. You can use this method anywhere, especially at work. Consider a department at your workplace you are not familiar with and create a list of questions that can help you understand its purpose.
For example, if you work in sales and want to know more about search engine optimisation, consider asking someone in that department for a short informational interview to learn more about their current projects and processes. This can help you think more critically about your role at work as it relates to that team.
3. Spend time socialising with other people
When you develop more meaningful relationships with other people, it can help to broaden your views and perspectives. In turn, this can help improve your ability to think logically because alternative points of view make it easier for you to think about a specific topic from more than just your own limited scope. As you become more familiar with someone, learn about their perspective because it can reinforce your efforts to approach situations and problems in a new way.
There several ways you can build a relationship with someone, such as participating in enjoyable activities or going out to lunch and having a friendly debate about a current topic. This might even be more beneficial if you befriend someone at work, as they may be able to help you solve work-related problems more wisely.
Related: How To Improve Communication Skills
4. Learn a new skill
Learning a new skill can also help you sharpen your logic skills. When you take the opportunity to learn as often as possible, you can apply the same level of thinking to your job. For example, you might decide to start learning a new coding language, a process that requires careful thinking and planning. Not only will practicing every day help to put you in the mindset of thoughtfully approaching problems at work, but it will also develop a new skill that will help you advance your career.
5. Visualise the outcome of your choices and decisions
When working to strengthen your logical thinking skills, it is helpful to consider what impact your decisions might have in the future. The more you think about the results of your decisions, the easier the process can become for you to assess the potential outcomes. When you come up with a solution to a problem at work, try to think about what the conclusion may be. Eventually, you might find it easier to think of the immediate and long-term results of your decisions, which is an important aspect of logical thinking.
The 4 components of logical thinking
A primary element of being able to think logically is the ability to reason. Reasoning requires emotional intelligence, which means you possess enough self-awareness of your own feelings that you can place them aside for the betterment of a particular situation or resolution. When it comes to taking a more logical and thoughtful approach to how you think, there are four essential components to consider, including:
Deduction, or deductive reasoning, is a component of logical thinking that begins with a general idea and then seeks to reach a specific, more logical conclusion. Deduction makes it easier for someone to gain a simplified understanding and then become more logical in their thought process. If A=B and B=C, then A=C is the most common exemplary statement of this process.
Related: Analytical Skills: Definition, Tips and Examples
Induction, or inductive reasoning, is another component that allows you to think more logically by relying on blanket generalisations. You usually base these general notions on anecdotal experiences, personal observations and facts you know are either true or false. For example, if your manager holds a group meeting every Tuesday morning and has done so for the past two years, you can logically conclude that they most likely are going to hold another group meeting this upcoming Tuesday morning as well.
Casual inference is a component that helps you think more logically by recognising the reason things evolve and change. This could involve someone taking a particular action and then you making a logical and casual inference as to why they are doing so. For example, if someone is reading an article about critical reading, you can casually infer that they are reading it because they want to change and become a better critical reader.
Analogy or analogical reasoning is a component of logical thinking that seeks to find the commonality between two or more perspectives. When thinking logically, analogy makes it so that what you know about one situation can help you infer new details about another. For example, if you know a colleague at your job is an identical twin, you can analogically reason that their twin, who you have not met, looks just like them.
Examples of thinking logically for different occasions
Logical thinkers assess any given situation from a practical point of view. This allows them to make the most sensible and appropriate decisions. Here are some examples of occasions when logical thinking can be beneficial:
Logical thinking when you are in a disagreement
If you are in a disagreement with a friend or a colleague at work, use logical thinking to help you come to a common understanding where you are both content with the conclusion. Try to understand their perspective and consider if it makes logical sense. Remain open-minded because it may help you gain a new logical perspective you were previously unaware.
Logical thinking to complete your work
If you have deadlines and a lot of work to complete, logical thinking can help you finish it all on time. Think logically about what work is most important and then prioritise the ones that you need to get done first. Create a schedule for yourself so you can track your progress.
Logical thinking when making a tough decision
If you have a tough decision to make, think logically about what decision you make is likely to result in the most beneficial outcome. Depending on the situation, sometimes it can be helpful to ask someone else for their opinion. This can help you gain the necessary insight to make the most pragmatic choice.
Logical thinking when you do not know an answer
If you do not know an answer to something, consider what is the most logical way that you can get the answer that you seek. Perhaps there are online resources you can thoroughly search through, or maybe there is someone you can ask. For example, if someone asks you about the data and information within a financial report, you can logically conclude that the person you should seek for the answer is an accountant or finance expert.
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