Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Talk To Yourself

by Randy Murray on July 29, 2013

A few weeks back we had a carpenter doing work in the house. He was quite a character. He was nice enough, but the man kept a steady stream of talking to himself going the entire time he was there. It bugged the hell out of our contractor, but I found it hilarious.

It was funny, that is until I suddenly figured out that he was a genius. The man wasn’t just randomly talking. He was asking and answering his own questions about the specific task he was occupied with. He was solving problems.

How did I figure this out? I was in the kitchen when he walked in with his coffee mug and asked if he could heat it up  in the microwave. I said sure, and he walked over and started talking to himself about the controls. I was about to tell him to, “Hit the express button four or five times or hit Time Cook and dial in two minutes, then press the control knob to start it,” when he suddenly said, “Beverage!” pushed the button, and let it auto-heat his cup.

When he went back to work with his hot coffee I got up and went to look at the microwave. “We have a Beverage button?” I muttered to myself. Yes we did. The carpenter might be an eccentric, but he was crazy like a fox.

When you are performing a new task, you should certainly read the instructions, but like my carpenter friend, you might also consider talking out loud to your self. Say what you’re going to do next and what you need. If you don’t know how do do something, say it out loud and start talking through the options. I’m shocked at how solutions suddenly come into focus when I simply say things out loud.

Try it. You might sound crazy, but if someone asks you what you’re doing, just smile at them and keep to your task. Talk away, solve your problems, and leave them scratching their heads.

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