10 Signs You’re Smarter Than You Realize

You procrastinate

WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

Yes, you read that right! As much as leaving something till the last minute can make you feel dumb, studies show that it’s actually quite the opposite. If you procrastinate, it means that you take your time on things, rather than jumping to conclusions or choosing the easiest solution. Smart people also procrastinate because they choose to spend their time on tasks that they find more valuable, while postponing more trivial ones. Either way, procrastination is far from the monstrous time-waster people can sometimes make it out to be. Maybe it’s no surprise that things like doodling and daydreaming also signify intelligence.

You can’t stand background noise

WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

If you prefer to work in complete silence, you have that in common with Franz Kafka, Charles Darwin, and Anton Chekhov. These are only some of the brilliant minds who insisted on dead silence while they worked, or who complained about being unable to filter out background noise. You might think that smart people are the ones who are able to fully tune out the world, but studies suggest that this isn’t the case. The inability to tune out noises like talking, shuffling feet, chewing, or typing might actually be good news for your brain.

A 2015 study from Northwestern University assessed the problem-solving skills of 100 different people. The participants who claimed to have a harder time shutting out the “irrelevant” noises in the background came up with more innovative, creative solutions to the problems. The authors of the study concluded that people bothered by background noise are better able to focus on multiple stimuli at once, which translates into more creative thinking. So if background noise bothers you while you’re working, try your best to embrace it—it could be a sign that you’re a creative genius.