How to Think Clearly and Live Better – 6 Simple Solutions
“I think, therefore I am” – a philosophical proposition first said by René Descartes in the early 17th century France.
At first glance, they are simple words, but the more you think about them, the more meaning they seem to reveal.
It’s not an exaggeration when you say that your ability to think defines your very existence. Because it’s where your universe begins…and ends.
It’s the one thing that sets you apart from every other creature on this blue planet. And is also the proof of our advancement as a species.
Long have passed the times when society valued physical strength and brutality above all else.
Now, we live in an era where your mind is the greatest tool, and your ability to think is how well you wield it.
Of course, all minds are not created equal and some may have an easier time thinking than others. It’s a well-known and accepted truth.
But no matter who you are, there will be times when you won’t know how to think clearly or effectively.
This problem is what sometimes leads people to mistakenly believe they’re somehow inferior to others. But it’s in no way related to their presumed lack of abilities…
Isn’t it weird how in the past there were so many great and innovative minds even though the world’s population wasn’t anywhere near what it is now?
You could say people were discovering the “simple” things back then and that now we’re only left with the difficult stuff, but that’s not really true.
To them, what they thought of was very difficult. And what’s difficult to us now will be simple to the people of the next era. So what’s stopping us from becoming like them?
The age of information
In this day and age everywhere you go, everywhere you look, and in everything you do, there’s always so much information. Numbers, text, pictures, videos, memes, concepts, and ideas.
So you can’t help but take in at least some of that information. But this excessive amount of information makes your brain’s cogs spin just a bit faster at all times.
You might not even feel it, but just going through your jam-packed email tires you out mentally, which is why most people don’t even bother reading most of the emails in there. And that’s just in your free time…
Now think about what happens when you get to work. Chances are you’re working at a job that requires you to think. A lot.
Unsurprisingly, more and more jobs are becoming like this due to automation and new advancements in technologies.
Soon, any kind of physical abilities will be obsolete, leaving only jobs where you have to think.
So what happens is – you think at home, you think while commuting, and you think at work. And then you think some more when you can’t sleep because that’s just what you’re used to doing.
You can’t help but get exhausted mentally, which, in turn, makes clear thinking harder in the day to day life.
And there might come a time when you’re too mentally exhausted to think clearly. You simply can’t think, but you force yourself to think anyway, resulting in mental burnout.
It’s a vicious cycle that’s difficult to get out of, but don’t lose hope just yet. There are many ways to make it easier on your mind, allowing you to clear your brain and think more clearly.
Here are some of the most effective solutions…
Solution #1 think less
If your goal is to think clearer, the very first solution is directly related to the information overload we experience on a daily basis. Just take a moment and think (contradicts the title of this solution, I know, haha.)
Do you spend too much time on your phone? On your computer? On social media? Online games? Simply reading?
Try to cut down on it. Have times when you don’t think at all. This time spent not thinking lets your mind rest, allowing you to get rid of some of the mental fatigue you’ve accumulated.
Maybe set a day in the week where you go sit in the park for an hour or so (with your phone turned off, of course.)
Or just spare some time for meditation, yoga, or maybe exercise. It’s all very simple and hardly makes you think at all.
Just don’t get caught up in looking for videos on how to do it and you’ll be fine.
Solution #2 think smarter
When we’re faced with difficult tasks, we quite often decide to solve them with the knowledge that we already have.
This inevitably leads to a struggle, causing you to spend a lot more time on thinking, thinking in circles, and overthinking, rather than actually spending time on the task.
The goal here is to get new tools to make the difficult tasks easier. Or rather, to learn new knowledge.
Most people tend to overlook this because studying/learning tires them out. That’s inescapable, of course, but this initial investment of time and effort will pay great dividends later on.
You’ll not only solve your tasks much quicker and easier but also spend less time thinking overall.
Solution #3 use productivity tools to lessen the burden on your mind
Even in this day and age I still meet people who haven’t even heard of productivity tools, much less use them. And several years ago I was one of them. This the main reason why so many of us are unable to think clearer.
It’s almost as if we simply prefer doing all the mental gymnastics because usually, we’re too lazy for the bare minimum of creative thinking that would lead us to solutions and tools to help us lessen the burden.
This leads us to do tasks we can avoid entirely, using up valuable time and mental energy. So when we finally get to the important task, we’re too tired to do it. Not only do we fail at time management, it also extends into energy management.
To counteract that, there are planners, organizers, analytics, team chats, and many other types of software. You can download and use so many of them for free.
But the same as with the last solution, the learning process is what turns many away. It simply feels too tedious and the questionable promise of greater and more effortless results isn’t all that enticing.
The key is to get over that initial wall of doubt. And grasp the sweet fruit of productive thinking.
For example, there’s this one thing most of us hate doing, but we do it anyway. I’m talking about checking grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
How many times have you focused on writing everything perfectly on the first try? How many times have you reread that first sentence to make sure there are no flaws?
Spellcheckers help to some extent, but most of them are too unreliable, so we do the brunt of the work, causing us to think and waste mental energy.
What if you could avoid all that and have a tool you can actually rely on? And there’s one exactly like that. It’s called Grammarly.
It has both a free version and a paid version, neatly integrating into your browser. Grammarly not only checks punctuation and spelling but also word usage context mistakes.
And that’s just the free version. If you get the paid version, it also suggests readability improvements, recommending better sentence structures and word usage.
The best part of this is, you can paste the entire text on Grammarly after you’ve done writing, allowing you to fix everything in minutes.
So when you write — you quite simply just write all the way to the end. No breaks, no obstacles just a stream of your words.
All because you know you have this cheat code of an app — your very own personal editor that takes away the unpleasant stuff, allowing you to think about the things you really want to think about.
This results in considerably less mental burden, in the long run, allowing you to think more clearly about things that matter.
But this is just one productivity tool among hundreds more, all capable of making you think that much easier. It’s up to you to find the one that best suits your needs.
Solution #4 adjust your diet
Some of us eat more, some of us eat less, but all of us eat when we’re hungry — when we need to replenish our physical energy.
Turns out there are many foods you can eat to boost your brain function as well, allowing you to easily concentrate and think clearer.
This includes dark chocolate, eggs, broccoli, nuts, oranges, and even drinks like green tea, and coffee. Pack them in your lunch or just keep them handy and enjoy all the benefits.
Just make sure you don’t overdo it with any of them, especially with coffee and caffeine.
Mostly because caffeine withdrawal is no joke. And one of the most devastating side effects is that you can’t think clearly.
This also ties into the next solution…
Solution #5 get enough sleep
One of the most common reasons why you can’t think clearly is because you lack sleep.
Think of it this way – your mind is like a battery and sleep recharges it. When you don’t sleep enough, you’re going about your day with a half-charged battery.
You deplete yourself much faster and about half of your workday is spent working inefficiently just because you can’t think.
This happens very often because people mistakenly think they’ll get more done if they cut sleep, but usually, the exact opposite happens.
There really aren’t two ways about it, just sleep when you’re supposed to. Grab a pillow and a blanket, hop into bed, and the rest will come naturally.
Trust me, the best brain fog treatment really is sleep. Just make sure you don’t sleep too long because that way you won’t be able to think either.
Find out how many hours of sleep work best for you. For me, it’s a little under 9 hours. If I sleep that long, I always feel refreshed and can think clearer throughout the day.
There are also things you can do to fall asleep easier. Like cutting down on caffeine, ventilating your room, and getting some exercise during the day.
Then again, if you can’t sleep no matter how hard you try, proceed with the next solution…
Solution #6 solve the problems in your life
Think of this as the meta solution. In the end, there can be a million reasons why your critical thinking skills are impaired, but most of them are problems.
They occupy your mind, distract you, and torment you, especially if you’re an active thinker.
The more problems you have, the more you get crushed by the pressure, the stress, and the anxiety. Not only does your ability to think clearly crumbles, but so does your mind.
So to avoid all that, there’s only one solution – you go and solve your problems. That way you can simplify your life and, at the same time, your ability to think. Of course, that’s only simple in theory and very hard to put into practice.
Mostly because all problems have a varying level of difficulty, depending on what type of problem you’re having.
For example, health issues, the looming terror of eviction, or maybe just a splinter stuck in the tip of your finger.
The key element, however, is solving problems one by one. Focus on the most important problems that you can solve immediately.
Knock these troublemakers out of the park one by one and enjoy having fewer distractions. That’s what makes it to think clearly a lot easier.
That being said, it’s up to you to identify the problems and solve them. It might be hard, it might be easy, but I know you can do it.
When you finally do it, you’ll get the rewards you’ve been striving for.
The overlooked truth
None of the solutions I provided are groundbreaking by any means and there are more scientific explanations available. But one of the best guides on how to think clearly, comes from Rolf Dobelli in his book “The Art of Thinking Clearly.”
It has given me dozens of valuable insights, but among them one stands out the most. Simply put, we often neglect the simple.
So the more difficult a problem is, the more difficult the solution appears in your mind. And the more intelligent and knowledgeable you are, the more the previous pattern keeps repeating.
The same applies to living the lifestyle of your dreams and giving all your loved ones the chance to do the same.
And there’s a simple way to do just that. (click on the book below)
Even then, the type of solution or conclusion you arrive at is entirely up to you. There’s no one best way to think clearer. Only you know what works best for you.
I hope some of the solutions I provided will be of some help to you. Let me know if you have any better ways you use to help you think more clearly.
And if you have anything you’d like to add or if there’s any feedback you have, feel free to share, I appreciate it a lot!
But that’s all from me for today folks, see you on the next blog post!
Here’s a very educative video on how thinking clearer let a man become the leader of an empire: