Is fast thinking slowing you down?

Is fast thinking slowing you down? When you’re too busy stressing over everything, you lack the time needed to reflect. You’re more likely to miss opportunities. You may not discover the right path, as you’re too focused on the current one. Challenging your assumptions and exploring other options requires you to slow down. You need to reflect instead of reacting too quickly.

A recent article written for Harvard Business Review discusses the importance of “slow thinking.” The authors of the article explain how some of the most successful CEOs set aside time to reflect. Reflective thought gives you time to examine your beliefs. It helps you create connections between different pieces of information. Complex thinking requires you to slow down and consider a variety of variables. Rushing your thought process increases the risk of mistakes.

The article points out that many of the top leaders set aside time for personal development. Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates all schedule time to reflect. Unfortunately, this goes against the belief that leaders need to devote everything to their careers. You may fear slowing down due to the risk of being labelled an imposter.

So, how can you retrain your brain? First, the authors suggest scheduling thinking time. Setting aside a few minutes or an entire hour to sit quietly and think can ease stress and improve cognitive thinking. The second suggestion is to enlist help. Find a partner to help you explore ideas instead of internalising everything.


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The third solution presented in the article is to prevent information overload. The authors recommend setting boundaries, such as not checking work email outside of work hours. You may also replace internal emails with messaging apps. You should also question everything. Challenging assumptions helps you explore new ideas and opportunities. You can read more about the impact of fast thinking and how to slow down your brain here.

The article presented some useful tips for avoiding information overload. Along with scheduling time for reflection, consider using NLP. Neuro-linguistic programming and positive psychology practices help alter your thinking patterns. NLP reframing and meta-modelling are a couple of techniques that can help you reflect and challenge assumptions.

NLP reframing teaches you to view situations from a different perspective or “frame.” You open your mind to other possibilities. This involves identifying a negative thought and seeing it in another light. Reframing makes it easier to challenge assumptions and conflicting beliefs. NLP meta-modelling also requires you to challenge generalisations, distortions, and deletions. These thinking habits keep you from clearly reflecting on what’s happening around you. Generalising negative situations and distorting reality limit your thought processes. NLP helps you question your thoughts. You can develop a healthier relationship with your inner voice.

Don’t let fast thinking get in the way of your success. Learn to slow your thinking and reflect on your experiences using mindfulness and other NLP techniques. If you’re ready to increase your mental stamina and resilience, explore my one-to-one coaching services and online courses available at