Tech Blog

Thinking like Sherlock Holmes

15 de January de 2018


by Gabriela Alcarraz. Software engineer at Pyxis.

The intention of this blog is to share my experience in reading the book “How to think like Sherlock Holmes” by María Konnikova.

Konnikova is a Russian-American writer and psychologist with several books to her credit whose objective is to study and deepen the way of thinking of the brain and how to take advantage of this.

The main idea that is handled is that anyone can come to understand the world and approach situations in the manner of the most famous detective, with a training of the mind and changing habits in everyday life, in the way of thinking and in the scale of basic priorities.

Based on this, there are some important concepts to highlight:


It is a process that assumes an awareness on the present moment that manifests externally and internally. The more motivated you are, the more attention you pay, and the more attention you pay and identify what benefits you, the more motivated you feel.

  • What’s happening around me?
  • What happens inside of me?
  • Attention and motivation are reciprocally nourished.

The Holmes method and the Watson method

Watson Method

  • It is simpler, natural and easy to humans
  • More hasty, emotional and often wron
  • Frequently leads to a “better mood”
  • It can lead to incorrect decisions and poor value judgments
  • Better mood
  • It can lead to bad decisions

Holmes Method

  • Cooler, logical and successful
  • It is more difficult in the short term but leads to better results in the long run
  • It should be used when it makes sense, and not in any situation

It is a matter of priorities: What situation is important? In these cases, you have to think like Holmes; otherwise, it is best to save resources.

Being multitasking is a terrible loss of our brain capacity and is counter-productive. It is best to concentrate your thoughts on one thing at a time, take mental breaks and be attentive while watching the world and the people around you.

An attic in the head

A well-organized head, with the most important data “at hand” and the irrelevant conveniently discarded, all well organized as if it were an attic.

Sometimes it is not easy for us to distinguish the crucial from the trivial. It’s a matter of practice and experience, and knowing your own mind, it all comes down to personal priorities.

Where to start…

Start with what you consider important and your priorities based on what you want to achieve at a given time. “It’s hard to discern between the important and the trivial, even often something that you thought was incidental ends up being crucial.”

The good thing is that the more attentive you are, the memory improves in general. It is possible to remember at least enough to go back and deepen. The more motivated the individual is when recording something in the attic, the more likely he or she will remember it later.

There are things that no matter how much you want to remember seem to have disappeared. It is important to make an effort to pay attention when you really want to remember something.

And the key to all this is practice! So lets practice …

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15 de January de 2018