Using your observational skills, you, too, can focus on the smaller details of life and be a real-life Sherlock Holmes.
(Photo by iStock Photo)

Deduce Like Sherlock: Put Your Observational Skills To Work

The perplexing problems and situations encountered throughout an average day are much clearer to solve than a person may think. But unfortunately, many people fail to notice small details, obvious clues, and how several components combine to form a more-than-likely solution. Like the fictional, famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, you too can deduce like a pro as long as you practice working your observational skills.

Put your observational skills to work for numerous benefits throughout your life.
(Photo by iStock Photo)

It’s All About The Details

Seeing the big picture is good, but noticing the small details is what gives you an edge throughout life. From observing the body language of the people around you to determining the personality of friends and strangers by the way they dress, walk, and talk, you can formulate a reasonably accurate overview within a matter of minutes or less. Noticing small details is what you want to focus upon, such as brand names on clothing, ring tones on their phone, and actually listening when they talk to you (as opposed to just waiting for them to stop so you can talk) so you can absorb all major and minor data. Then you can use your newfound information to help get that new job, corner office, or a date for Friday night.


To rely on only one or two of your senses while deducing a mystery of some sort can severely cripple your journey to find a solution. In everyday life, your senses assist you in ways you probably don’t even realize. Your sense of smell augments your sense of taste (notice foods taste bland when you’re sick with a stuffed nose?), and your sense of touch can aid in realizing what you see is real. So, apply this to your mystery at hand. Examine everything with your eyes and fingers. Notice sounds around you, scents lingering in the air, or clinging to someone in question.

Honing in Your Observational Skills

In today’s day and age, it seems multitasking is a positive characteristic in people. Performing multiple tasks simultaneously allows more to get done at a quicker rate. However, what is lacking in this equation is quality. With so much happening simultaneously, there is a greater chance that small things will fall through the cracks. Instead, put your phone away, turn off all electronics, don’t talk to others, and focus. With all your attention directed at the problem, a solution is soon to form.

Clear The Mind

Too much of anything is not a good thing. Being inundated with questions from others, stress from your workday, or just juggling too much on your plate, you need to escape and regroup both mentally and physically. People often say, “I’ll sleep on it.” when making a decision so they can give themselves some quiet time to reflect objectively without the pressure of everything around you exerting itself upon you. Follow this philosophy, and you may come to a solution when you’re calm and away from the chaos. Learning to use your observational skills by silencing the mind is a matter of practice.

By using your observational skills to pay attention to small details, you can focus in on the important pieces to the puzzle.
(Photo by iStock Photo)

Talk It Through

Did you ever write something that looked great on paper but was horrible when you read it aloud? Well, this is true about the successfulness of deduction, also. You may be stuck figuring something or someone out, and jot down some notes about the problem. But when you read it to yourself out loud, that’s when you realize either how logical or how severely stupid (sorry!) it may sound. It’s the notion that hearing it through your ears triggers an answer much quicker than you mouthing the words in silence.

Putting It All Together

Using all the aforementioned tips for deduction, you can formulate a sound solution to almost any problem or circumstance. The key is to take everything you observe visually and any clues from your other senses and assemble the pieces to create the most probable answer. It may be correct or off a bit, but without a doubt, you’ll be much closer than you could have ever been with just dumb luck or a roll of the dice.

Leave a Reply