10 Ways to Improve Analytical Skills.

Tips to improve analytical skills

In such fast-paced working environments, having high-level analytical abilities is an absolute must. Employees are expected to think on their feet, solve problems and analyze data in real-time. We’ve put together a list of 10 ways to improve analytical skills.

To do all these things and achieve professional success, it’s in a person’s best interest to continuously seek ways to improve.

Here we’ve listed 10 ways to improve analytical skills. and, as a result, not just improve your career but also create greater efficiency in all areas of your life.

1. Read More Frequently

A good way to start expanding your analytical skills is through the power of the written word. Indeed, the more you expose yourself to different ideas, the more you’ll increase your own cognitive abilities. The trick, however, is to not skim over pages.

When reading a book, magazine or article, you should think about the overall plot, take note of each character in the story and think about other possible scenarios. This will stimulate deep thinking and force you to test your logic and broaden your imagination.  All of which strengthen your mind’s ability to think analytically. 

2. Listen to Podcasts

If you commute to work daily and spend hours behind the wheel, this is an exceptional portion of time to activate brainpower.  Thought-provoking podcasts increase your critical thinking skills while on the road.  And, if you happen to be in a highly competitive industry, podcasts are a great way to stay up to date on current happenings.

Podcasts?  There’s an app for that! These days it seems the boom in podcast hosts is peaking. There is huge exposure available to opinions and expert advice in just about all industries. 

A few good podcasts worth listening to include Developer Tea, Broken Brain, Applying Awareness and TED Radio Hour, all of which will offer useful tips for stimulating creativity and challenging your thoughts and ideas. All of which, ultimately, help you enhance mental capacity.

3. Exercise

With everything we’ve learned about exercise in modern times, it’s no stretch to understand that moving the body is good for the mind.

The type of exercise you choose to do is entirely up to you, but taking a tai chi or Zumba class might be a good idea. You will need to memorize steps and sequences as well as focus on executing them in a controlled manner, effectively challenging both your analytical thinking skills and your physical stamina. 

4. Play Brain Games

Brain games like Sudoku, chess, backgammon, and Scrabble can help expand your critical thinking skills. It’s true, just 15 minutes a day of playtime can increase your mental stimulation and improve your analytical skills. 

Bonus points: The best part is that they are fun and they can be used as bonding experiences. 

So, instead of sitting in front of the TV all evening, play a brain game with your family and monitor your improvement over time. And if you can’t get anyone to play with you, don’t worry: ask google about Lumosity. It has plenty of brain games designed to encourage your thinking.

5. Surround Yourself with Different Personalities

If you socialize in a small circle, you’ll most likely discuss the same topics day in and day out. 

Although it’s not bad to have a tight-knit group, it’s important to surround yourself with people that you wouldn’t normally socialize with. These are the people that will spark your imagination and offer you a new and different perspective. 

If you’re not sure where to meet different people, start by attending networking events and engaging with everyone you meet there. You’ll be surprised by the effect that others can have on your analytical abilities.

6. Learn Something New Every Day

After graduating from high school or university, most people become passive when it comes to testing themselves and learning new things. Once we are comfortable in our careers and know what we are good at it, we tend to put a pause on learning. 

Try to learn something new every day; whether it’s a feature on your phone or a new recipe, it’s essential to keep testing yourself and gaining new skills.

7. Take an Online Course

This could be a short LinkedIn or Udemy course!  It doesn’t need to be extensive. Try to take courses in subjects that you aren’t very familiar with or good at. For example, not many people are born Excel gurus, but with time and dedication, you can master the use of formulas and cells and become an Excel expert yourself. 

The point is to expand your knowledge and challenge yourself with topics you don’t have any prior experience in.

8. Join a Book Club

We mentioned earlier that reading is a great way to increase cognitive abilities, but why not take it one step further by joining a book club?

You’ll not only be engaged in stories that you wouldn’t usually take a second look at but also challenge your thinking by analyzing the book and discussing it with fellow club members. You’ll also hear a different perspective and make new friends in the process!

9. Ask Questions

Curiosity drives us to be more motivated, intelligent and creative. The questions that we ask encourage us to pursue different outlets and methods, forcing us to compare what we previously thought and come to a logical solution. So, when you’re next interested in a topic, don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, the more knowledge you soak up, the better your analytical skills will become.

10. Be Observant

When you’re observant, you tend to notice more around you, and this sparks your critical thinking. We often focus on getting things done quickly rather than slowing down and focusing on the details. But it’s important to take time to watch how others behave; doing so might even help you find new methods of dealing with any problems you might face. 

Reminders About Effective Communication

Communication

Every single day we all engage in some form of communication, be it verbal, non-verbal, or written, and sometimes we need a reminder of how important communication is, that we shouldn’t take it for granted and what we can do to improve our own skill set.  Being an effective communicator can have very positive effects on your social life, marriage, and your career.  In this context we will explore a few tips to increase your communication skills to benefit you at work, in a job interview, and beyond.

Be a Good Listener

Focus on what is being said instead of waiting to speak.  This takes practices, but it will go a long way in an interview and work. Your boss and coworkers will feel more respected and you may just learn something!

Think Before You Speak

This is probably something your parents told you when you were a kid, but it’s important, especially in an interview.  Think carefully about what is being asked, make sure you consider the implications your words will have.  In an interview, also think about your delivery before you speak; do you want your tone to be flat and emotionless?  Do you need to convey enthusiasm in your response?  Are you smiling or frowning?  It seems like a lot at the time but make time to remind yourself of this before an interview to prime yourself to think of these things.  It is amazing what your brain processes in the background.

Be a Mirror

To show the person you are speaking with that you are respectfully listening and are in tune with what they are saying, be a mirror and share their ideas back to them.  This helps validate their position and gains you respect as a good listener.  Once your bounced their own idea back at them, it’s your turn to speak.

Watch Their Body Language

When you are speaking you should be observing the body language of the person or people around you.  This can give clues if you need to adjust your speech pattern to make yourself more engaging, or if you need to wrap up your point to let someone else speak or wrap up a meeting.

Keep Your Cool

This is a big one.  Keep yourself in control if the issue you are communicating about gets heated for any reason.  Keeping a grip on your words, body language, and tone, while listening to the other person can be a challenge, but it will make you the bigger person and you will learn a lot about the person you are dealing with.  If someone blows up in your face, listen, wait, and respond in a cool, calm, and collected manner.  This will go a long way.

Ask Questions

Asking questions can show the person you are communicating with that you are interested in what they are saying, or that you are interested in the topic you may be discussing.  Also, don’t be afraid to ask a question when you are being interviewed, so long as they are thought out.  Your future employer may perceive this as a strength, that you are trying to get as much context and information about the question you are being asked to answer.

Read Things

The more you read the more you will learn, and the more subtleties of communication you may pick up.  Reading books, news stories, magazine articles and blogs, will not only give you more to talk about with coworkers but will also help you with your verbal written communication as you are more exposed to (hopefully) proper grammar and potentially new words.  Reading quick blogs like this are great refreshers!

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TEN WAYS TO MAINTAIN THAT FRIDAY AFTERNOON MOTIVATION

Stay Motivated!

We’ve made it to Friday!  This quick read will help you make the most of your day before heading into the weekend, enjoy!

Original article click here.

Ten Ways to Maintain That Friday Afternoon Motivation

TGIF! It’s almost the weekend and you can see the finishing line. You simply cannot wait for downtime. So why is time going so… slowly?

In accordance to a survey by British Airways, workers are at their least productive from 2.39pm on a Friday afternoon, but the reality is, you’re being paid to work until that clock strikes home time and it’s important to stay driven and productive until that very moment. So how exactly can you stay motivated when all you want to do is start your weekend?

Wake up motivated

The way that you start your day will ultimately dictate the way the rest of your day goes so it is imperative that you start as you mean to go on! Mentally preparing yourself for the day ahead and planning can make all the difference, helping you ride on the crest of momentum all the way into the afternoon.

What’s for lunch?

We all have a tendency to go overboard on a Friday lunch time but what you eat is of great significance to how you feel for the rest of the day. A heavy load of carbohydrates will make you feel sluggish and tired, both of which will do nothing for the motivation to get you through the rest of the day! Keep your energy levels high throughout the day by eating little and often.

Get out more

Get out of the bricks and mortar box on your lunch hour for a sunshine break! The Vitamin D will help to boost energy and getting outdoors will boost creativity and productivity.

Keep moving

Do some light exercises and stretches to help reboot your brain and keep your body moving and awake.Physical activity has energising effects and the more you exercise, the more you will benefit.

Take a breather

Perhaps a little counterintuitive, but relaxing in between busy periods and taking a few deep breathes to keep you focused can help you sustain motivation throughout the day.

Keep it interesting

Switch up your workload and be sure to keep it interesting. The ordinary reaction to dealing with Friday afternoon switch offs is to pack the bulk of your work into Friday morning. However, to combat monotony you should make sure that you have interesting to-dos after lunch – work on something that interests you to maintain engagement!

Have a pick me up

It’s time for some caffeine! Instead of coffee, drink a cup of green tea or treat yourself to a piece of dark chocolate for an afternoon shot of get-up-and-go.

Challenge yourself

Ask for a challenge or pile on the workload; distract yourself from clock watching by keeping yourself occupied with something that also benefits the business.

Crack a joke

Your happiness at work is central to productivity and, according to Entrepreneur, “Research shows laughter is closely linked with healthy, well-functioning blood vessels.” Infuse some humour into your afternoon to not only be healthier and happier but also much more dynamic.

Think positive thoughts

Be optimistic! Stay motivated by thinking yourself positive.

Friday afternoons needn’t be boring. The purpose is to make it interesting and fun with motivational hacks that help you get results around the clock!

 

We hope you find this article helpful and we would always like to hear your comments and questions.  Power Writers USA is here to help you with all your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and more.  Please feel to contact us.