Sneha works for an accounting firm. One day, her manager asks her to organize a social event with team-building activities. As an auditor, this isn’t her core strength! But she suddenly recalls her time as a member of her college festival planning committee. Even though it has been six years, she still remembers how she helped plan it. Sneha uses this experience to plan the event that her manager has asked her to. It is a big success.

Did you see what happened here? Sneha’s prior knowledge of event management helped her overcome a challenge at work. Not only was she able to organize a successful event but she also gained recognition from her manager. This is an example of smart thinking in the workplace.

Let’s explore the concept of thinking smart and see how it can help one achieve their goals and stand out at the workplace.


What Is Smart Thinking?

Smart thinking is the ability to use your existing knowledge to solve complex, unfamiliar problems. The thinking smart concept was popularized by Dr Arthur Markman, a professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas. 

The essence of smart thinking is that life can be made easier by applying what you already know. Let’s look at some ways to practice smart thinking.

How To Think Smart


Thinking smart can help you overcome workplace challenges. For example, if you are asked to come up with a solution to a complex problem quickly, smart thinking can help you. Some tips for thinking smart are:

  1. Advance Your Knowledge

When you know more, you’ll do more. If you don’t have the right knowledge, you won’t be able to find solutions. For instance, a coder can create programs because they have the right knowledge. A writer can write because they have a creative mindset and a wealth of knowledge. Knowledge is what drives your creativity. Remember, the more you know, the better you’ll perform.


  1. Identify And Improve Your Strengths

Many of us overlook the importance of leveraging our strengths for career advancement and growth. Identify your strengths and build on them. Once you know what you’re good at, you can apply your skills and knowledge to many problems and challenges. For instance, if you’re good at public speaking, you’ll be able to use your communication skills in many situations.


  1. Ask for More Opportunities

Sometimes we shy away from asking for more opportunities at work. Remember, to grow your skills and advance in your career, you need to ask for more opportunities. Don’t worry about upsetting your manager by asking for more work. If you know your strengths and you’re willing to work for your goals, you must seek new avenues to use your skills. Your manager will appreciate you taking the initiative. 


  1. Develop A Creative Mindset

An important aspect of smart thinking is to develop a creative mindset. This means letting go of your biases and prejudices and making room for new knowledge. If you can find ways to overcome your personal biases and look at situations from different perspectives, you’re more likely to do well at work. You need to push yourself to think creatively if you want to come up with smart solutions.


  1. Take Initiative To Unleash Your Creativity

Taking initiative at work will help you break out of your shell. Your work isn’t restricted to your job profile. If you want to grow and learn the ropes of a business, you may have to do more than just the bare minimum. As you step up to the task, you’ll face newer challenges. Think of them as opportunities to use your knowledge and strengths.

Smart thinking is an effective way of overcoming problems and finding creative solutions. You don’t have to restrict your thinking. If you can polish your existing knowledge and put it to good use, you’ll be on your way to achieving professional success.

Harappa Education’s Unleashing Creativity course will teach you how to think smartly and creatively. Using what you know to solve problems is a strength that you can develop over time. With important frameworks like the Creative Formula, the course will help you overcome creative barriers and reach your goals.

Explore topics such as Creative Thinking and Convergent vs Divergent Thinking from Harappa Diaries and improve your thinking skills.

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