As much as we’d all like to be Benedict Cumberbatch’s cunning version of Sherlock Holmes on the BBC’s show Sherlock, we haven’t spent our entire life training ourselves to notice every tiny detail. However, all is not lost. You still have Holmes-potential. It may take some time, but you can retrain your brain to become more observant.
Just like any habit, you need to start by changing little things every day. By giving yourself daily challenges to accomplish, like studying the behaviors of people you know, you will be more likely to slow down and take notice of details. It may even be helpful to take field notes, write down what you see and hear and what conclusions you might deduce. It’s important to focus on yourself as well. Take a moment to meditate, see where your thoughts wander to, and you might be better able to focus on the world around you with clarity.
Above all else, ask questions. “Holmes doesn’t think linearly, he engages his entire network of possible connections.” The more questions you ask, the greater your knowledge base becomes and the larger your mind map grows. Deductions will be easier to make when you make stronger connections between different points of information on your map. Sherlock didn’t become as clever as he is by simply jumping to random conclusions. Read up on Lifehacker’s article, Watson. And you just might be able to fill his shoes some day.