Quick Thinking Skills (A Complete List)


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Page last updated: 31/08/2022

Quick Thinking Skills (A Complete List)

This article will focus on what are quick thinking skills, their benefits and when are they used. It will not only highlight the focus of such skills but also identify when and why they might be needed. The article will also shed light on types of quick thinking and any disadvantages if engaging in such types of thinking.

How Can You Be A Quick Thinker?

You can be a quick thinker by using the following tactics or tips:

  • Buy Yourself Time
  • Read Aloud
  • Listen To Your Gut Feeling
  • Exercise Your Brain
  • Be Observant
  • Learn to Listen
  • Pick Up On The Cues
  • Prepare Better
  • Exercise – Stay Fresh
  • Engage In Discussion Often

Before we look at each sub heading in detail to help the reader understand how they can become a quick thinker, we will look at the concept of quick thinking, its significance and examine a few of its types.

What Is Quick Thinking?

It is important to realize that quick thinking does not mean you need to react quickly or arrive at a conclusion as soon as you can; it is actually a process that you want to carry out in the most efficient and speedy manner. Quick thinking skills refers to the ability to retrieve relevant information from your environment and process it as fast you can to come to the right conclusion; hence it involves a number of steps and not just one!

Quick thinking skills involve the ability to understand what information you have and do not have and taking the appropriate action upon that basis in the quickest possible manner. You do not want to face difficulty in understanding a question but be able to understand it as soon as you read it. Also, you want to be able to quickly recall what stored information that you have is necessary to solve the problem at hand. 

Quick thinking is actually a soft skill that holds much importance in our lives even though we do not realize it. We will look at its significance in a bit however we will first examine some types of quick thinking!

Types of Quick Thinking – The Thinkers

When it comes to thinking quickly, these are the types of thinking that are usually employed to quickly reach a conclusion:

The above types of thinking are oftentimes crucial to engage in quick thinking skills because they help us recognize patterns or arrive at conclusions in a quick and speedily manner!

Problem Solving

This type of thinking refers to the ability to identify a problem and its causes, identifying, analyzing and selecting alternatives to the solution and implementing the best one! It is an important skill that requires quick thinking because if you are not able to identify a problem in your system quickly, things can go wrong.

Like we said, this is an important thinking ability one should have; it is a skill employers look for when hiring an employee. Why? The world is full of problems and we need  people who can diagnose the issue and find solutions; this is why this type of skill is so important and is needed to be conducted in a quick manner.

Deductive Reasoning

It is the act of backing up a generalized statement with specific scenarios. This type of thinking is also required to be conducted in a quick manner because of its practical applicability. It is used in situations where you need to come up with a good marketing plan in order to achieve maximum sales of a product, how to design the floor layout of a new factory and planning a budget to ensure you get the highest output from your investments. People who have quick deductive reason abilities are greatly preferred in the job market because they can keep you ahead in the game. Unlike other thinking skills that are expected to take time, such as critical thinking, this type of thinking is desired to be conducted in the quickest manner.

Inductive Reasoning

This involves making generalized conclusions or assumptions based on specific scenarios. So, this type of thinking is also used to make the best decisions in the shortest time possible. For example, based on the traffic schedule, what time should you leave the office or changing the meeting timings based on the participants’ energy levels in the evening. These types of decisions need to be taken in the quickest manner! Yes they can be carried out in a slow manner; that is not the point. The point is that these skills should be on the tips of people only then do they actually hold value! 

Logical Reasoning

This type of reasoning is usually used in philosophy and science and entails that relations can be established between premises and this can be used to reach expected outcomes. This type of thinking greatly assists in quick thinking because you are able to identify important relations and determine outcomes.

Why Are Quick Thinking Skills Important?

There are many instances in life when we need to think quickly. The reasons could be so many; we might be required by the circumstances or have limited resources in terms of time, also we could just be willing to save our face value because if we don’t answer quickly people will doubt our expertise in a certain manner. 

Quick thinking skills are necessary to operate in a competitive world; if you are not able to think of good solutions or identify upcoming problems and their reasons, you will get left behind by your competitors! Also, nowadays, people judge others on the basis of how quickly they are able to give a response. Previously, people would take their time to give an answer but now, due to the era of immediate gratification, we demand immediate answers and judge people on that basis. If we see someone take their time to answer a question, we do not assume he or she is thinking but they are actually stalling to avoid putting themselves in a bad light.

It is also important to manage our own time and relationships as well as responsibilities. In today’s world, people prefer those who can make quick decisions. Why? Life has evolved into a faster form of itself where you can’t really stop and think. You need to think and decide and repeat. If you take too long to decide on something it can annoy others, make you miss commitments and fail to manage your time. After all! We have so much to do, but so little time!

How Can You Be A Quick Thinker?

There are many ways you can be or at least appear to be a quick thinker!

Buy Yourself Time

Don’t show the other person you need time to think over things, in fact show them you need more understanding of their question or requirements. People judge you for how long it takes for you to answer the question. Hence, it is important you impress them with your quick thinking skills and respond well.

You can buy yourself some time by taking a deep breath before you answer, ask more questions or restate what they have said; all during which you can take more time to think on how to give them the response they expect to hear.

Read Aloud

One of the barriers to quick thinking is that we do not take up information as we desire to. Maybe we are tired or unable to focus that results in us trying to understand information. One way to increase your ability to concentrate and take in more information in a single go is to read aloud. Hence, not only your eyes but ears are also receiving information and this increases your chances of taking in information in the very first go. You don’t have to read that paragraph again and again to understand what it is saying!

Listen to Your Gut Feeling

Is it intuition or does your gut feeling have a brain – we don’t know! But what we do know is that your gut feeling does make sense and it often points you in the right direction. When thinking over something or trying to respond to someone, consider your gut feeling; it immediately points out the first thing you should consider and that is often right. It is as if it has a mind of its own and it has already done the processing!

Exercise Your Brain

Play a few board games or puzzles; this helps your brain develop the habit of taking in information and processing it speedily! This practice will help it perform well in other situations where you quickly need to gather and process information!

Be Observant

One of the ways to be a quick thinker is to be able to collect the right information to process right? Hence, to do that we must be observant of our surroundings or people in order to pick up on the right information. We should not be picking up information we do not need.

One of the best ways to read a question is to be clear what information is relevant or not. That is how you construct and assess a problem and determine a solution.

Learn To Listen

If you sit back and actually listen to someone, you will be able to quickly pick up on what they actually need. If you do not listen properly you will have to keep your eyes open for longer or ask questions again and again. You might miss out on crucial information that is necessary to easily counter the situation and demonstrate your quick thinking skills.

Pick Up On The Cues

Ever been in a debate? What are you advised? Are you asked to keep a close eye on the way an opponent presents information? This is the purpose of this point – you must observe keenly and pick up on clues as to what the other party will claim or ask and hence be prepared to be one step ahead of the other party – it will give you more time to think quickly.

Prepare Better

This is one way to be a quick thinker. If you know your game or have an idea of your opponent or what is likely to be expected of you in a certain situation then you will be able to counter things in a better way. However, if you are caught by surprise then it will not only worry or shock you but it will also make it difficult for you to think quickly!

Exercise – Stay Fresh

It is important to keep your brain healthy and awake – the best way to do this is to make sure it gets enough oxygen especially through exercise. Engage in regular exercise on a daily basis and also in meditation. These will not only reduce stress or remove negative feelings but make you feel refreshed and in a better position to engage in some hard core thinking.

Engage In Discussion Often

The best way to learn is by practice. If you think you experience difficulty in coming up with the right things to say to people then engage in more discussion!

The Benefits of Quick Thinking Skills

There are a number of benefits when it comes to quick thinking skills! Firstly, it makes other people view you as someone who knows what they are doing; they respect you more and tend to listen to your opinions and outlook on a certain matter. They will ensure they are careful when they talk to you and will prefer not to be confrontational as they know very well you can also adopt the same stance and respond quickly in an appropriate manner.

Furthermore, such thinking skills make you a valuable asset in the corporate world because you are able to determine what is going to happen given certain circumstances; this helps an organization prepare for the worse or tackle threats and opportunities in their environment.

It is easier to manage your relations with others because you do not seem to choosy or take too much time; it is easier being around you in your daily routine.

The Disadvantages of Quick Thinking

If you develop the habit of quick thinking it might harm you in the long term sometimes if not all. It prevents you from thinking cautiously on important or sensitive topics because yes the habit is hard to break. You may miss out on things that need to be considered when making a decision. Furthermore, if you always answer too quickly, people might get turned off talking to you.

Be careful of when and how you apply your quick thinking skills and ensure they do not end up being counter productive!


The article discussed how one can become a quick thinker and also highlighted what quick thinking skills are and its types. It further discussed its significance in today’s world and provided tips on how to become a quick thinker. Towards the end, the article mentioned the benefits and possible harms of quick thinking.