Anyone who has ever watched the programme ‘Dragon’s Den’, will probably be familiar with the decision-making tool that is ‘talking to the wall’!
It’s a tried and tested approach to productive procrastination, but what is it about ‘the wall’ and external self-talk that makes it so effective at de-muddling the mind?
Partly, it’s the absence of distractions and outside influences which makes the wall such a good antidote to indecision, but the mechanism goes deeper than this…
The very act of verbalising thoughts and mind clutter is, apparently, what helps to clarify and refine them. When played simply inside your head, words are typically muddled and disorganized, but saying them out loud ((auditory expression) helps to organise thought processes and boost perceptual processing.
Such are the cognitive advantages, in fact, that many computer programmers apparently often use this technique. The trick is called “rubber duck debugging” and it involves explaining the problem to a rubber duck on your desk, as a means to improve the brain’s processing ability and visual system. This then allows workers to more easily pull up the visual cues they’re looking for, to help discover problems in a piece of code.
So if ever you’re wondering what to do for the best, where you’ve put the keys, or what best to concentrate your attention for the best on World Thinking Day....just make like Ed Sheehan, and try thinking out loud!