Everybody is striving towards self-improvement, even if some of us are doing so subconsciously. Humans are creative, problem-solving beings and we’re all attracted to activities that can increase our understanding of the world. Analytical skills are certainly helpful, and with the right approach and mindset, improving them can make your productivity flourish, and even open up various professional opportunities.

Even though we’re all drawn towards bettering ourselves, people are equally as susceptible to procrastination and avoiding responsibility by hiding behind excuses such as lack of free time or the shortage of ways to improve their shortcomings. Fortunately, when it comes to analytical thinking skills, you don’t need to put that much time and effort into it as you might think. The simplest of activities done regularly, such as playing games at online casinos or being more mindful of your daily decisions, can serve to hone your analytical skills.

All you really need is the willingness to work on yourself and open yourself up to new information. You won’t improve your analytical skills with a closed mind, that’s for sure!

In order to help you get motivated and limit the number of excuses you can use to get out of working on the sharpness of your mind, we’ve prepared this list of five simple and straightforward methods of improving your analytical skills.

Play Brain Games

Challenging yourself by playing online brain-training games like Memory Matrix or Train of Thought can really help you uncover analytical skills you didn’t even know you had, all the while having quite a bit of fun. If you’re not a fan of digital brain games, you can always fall back on some of the classic, pen-and-paper puzzle games, such as Sudoku or the good old-fashioned New York Times crossword. All of them present a great way to develop and improve the various analytical tools at your disposal while keeping you entertained at the same time.

They don’t even necessarily have to be puzzle games per se, as long as they get your brain up and running, analyzing different potential outcomes and trying to figure out new ways to come out on top. If you like to gamble every now and then, casino games such as poker or blackjack are great for utilizing your analytical capabilities to try and predict your opponents’ next moves and even get into their heads a little bit.

Join a Book Club

Most life coaches and self-improvement gurus will tell you to just read more books but it couldn’t hurt to take it a step further and join a club where like-minded people gather to discuss literature. As opposed to simply reading by yourself and putting the book down once you’re done, discussing it with others can help you understand the ideas contained within it as well as sharpen your critical thinking skills. Analytical acumen is honed not only by mathematical puzzles and observation but also by the ability to break down abstract data and make better sense of what its creator had in mind. There’s hardly a better place to learn things like that than your local book club!

Ask More Questions

A great part of analytical thinking is the ability to ask questions about anything and everything, in order to understand and pick apart the reasoning behind other people’s actions and their consequences. You should challenge yourself to learn more about the people you interact with by implementing more questions in your conversations. You’d be surprised by how much additional information you can get out of chit-chat at the office kitchen if you truly invest yourself in what the other person is saying. Once you make sure to bring your analytical skill to conversations every day, you’ll notice the improvement in your understanding of others sooner than you’d think!

Think Before You Act

If you’re trying to improve your analytical skills, then you’re likely determined to do so because you want to increase the overall quality of your life. Maybe you want to work in a different field or use those analytical thinking skills at your job to lock down a promotion you’ve been chasing after for a while. Regardless of your motivation, all the skills in the world won’t be of much help to you if you don’t use them in your day-to-day life. Take the time to consider your daily actions and think about how you could change the way you go about your day to make the most out of it.

Many people put very little thought into their lives on a daily basis, and it shows. If you’re trying to reach new heights, whether it be at your job or in your personal life, you should always try to break down your decisions. It’s important to learn these skills early on in life — it will make dealing with every problem that may come your way much easier.

Challenge Yourself with Novel Experiences

Of course, you need to be wise about choosing these experiences. Trying out drugs or partying harder will hardly make a difference in the level of your analytical skills (although some would disagree with this statement). Picking up new hobbies, on the other hand, might do you a world of good, not only in terms of growing your analytical ability. Open yourself up to fresh ideas by trying to learn a foreign language or explore different cuisines as you grow your culinary skills. The sheer process of learning new things requires you to process and break apart information and ideas, forcing you to improve your analytical skills as you try to figure out the many intricacies of your brand new hobby.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there is no shortage of options you can pursue to further hone your analytical skills. Some of them require a certain level of commitment, but others, such as thinking out your decisions or trying to play brain games, make for a great way to take your analytical skills to another level in as little as a couple of minutes every day! These activities will help you process all sorts of data much more easily, as well as become a more aware and well-rounded individual. Don’t hide behind your usual excuses — if you had the time to read this article, then you can surely take a jab at one or two of the options outlined above!

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