3 Steps To Boost Critical Thinking Skills During COVID-19 Pandemic

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Now, for this episode, I want to address a challenge many of us were warned to expect and are now beginning to see the first signs of namely that second wave of the Kobe. Pandemic. You're in Canada. There's little doubt now that this second wave has landed on our shores with our various provincial governments looking at what measures they need to take to reduce the impact of this second wave. Of course while many of us are naturally focused on how big the impact of the second wave will be. The fact is there can be no denying now that the Kobe nineteen pandemic will not simply be a bad memory twenty twenty but instead will be both a long term health and economic crisis whose effects and consequences will take several years to recover from. Back. In episode fifty, five of my podcast I looked at three lessons on crisis management leaders should learn from this global pandemic. And as many of us now prepare or at least try to prepare for what fallout may come from the second wave of Covid nineteen I wanted to address another area of this global pandemic leaders need to consider and be mindful of, and that is how it impacts are critical thinking skills. Now, earlier in the year, when many countries put varies lockdown measures in place to limit the spread of this virus many of us all online articles touting how the various stay at home measures should be treated as a golden opportunity to expand our horizons citing such examples as how Newton came up with his theory of gravity while working from home during the great plague of London. And yet developmental neuropsychologist Mary Kovin has challenged this assumption stating how most of us are more likely suffering from what she calls brain fog where the chronic stress arising from the current pandemic not only leads to time warps where our sense of the present is stretched out. But our attention becomes limited to looking out for threats as are complex thinking skills go off line. As. Dr Calvin points out in times of chronic stress our brains habituated to the fight or flight response. Our awareness of worries may fade, but they continue to capture our attentional resources making it harder to concentrate and fully observe art environment. At the same time, we may be more destructible jumping from one thing to the next, unknowingly searching for signs of threat. Some incoming information will be missed creating little holes in our everyday memory. We may make errors in decision making or become stuck in old thought patterns. Now add to this. The fact that the current pandemic has disrupted our usual routines whether that be working remotely or employing social distancing measures, wearing a mask and regularly washing our hands with disinfectant wherever we go and it shouldn't be too surprising that many of us are struggling with a distracted mindset that naturally impedes our ability to think critically and focus on what matters most. So in light of the prevailing uncertainties, facing all industries, not just in the short term. But also in the long term, how can leaders boost their critical thinking skills while dealing with the chronic stress that impairs are complex thinking skills including our decision, making and planning skills. Well that's what I wanted to address. In this episode my leadership podcast is I. do believe there is a growing need for us to recognize the importance of boosting are critical thinking skills in light of this brain fog Dr? Colvin. Describes that Covid, nineteen has clearly given rise to. As such here are three steps you can take to boost your critical thinking skills during this global health pandemic. The first step is to schedule what I call thinking time in your workweek. Now one of the biggest work impacts to come from the current health pandemic has been a disruption to our everyday work routines with. So many of us now working from home those usual activities we do in our workspaces have been replaced with new ones some good. Then some not so good of course, one of the challenges this creates is making sure we're focusing our attention and efforts on what matters most and as the I share Dr Colin points out. This is easier said than done when we're in a state of chronic stress as such. The first step you need to take here is to literally schedule thinking time in your workweek, which admittedly is now both easier and harder to do. It's easier to do now as we have more control over how we spend our days because of the fact that. So many of us are still working from home. But that's also the reason why it's also harder for us to do as a result of the numerous distractions found in our homes that were not used tuning out. And yet if you want to successfully dig yourself out of that brain fog and boost your critical thinking skills, you need to make time to exercise your brain in much. The same way many people are making sure to schedule time to exercise void spending their days just sitting on the couch or at the kitchen table working away on their laptop.

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