One of the main ideas of critical thinking is alternative thinking. Basically you need to look for alternatives in many cases. For example, when you are making decisions, when you look for explanation or create hypotheses. So in critical thinking you need to look for different alternative often, but is it worth your energy and time. Can we look at this process critically?
Critical thinking isn’t against critically checking its own concepts and methods. So if we stop looking for alternatives, how it can benefit us? Obviously it will save us some time that could be used to do something we have decided before. For example, instead of checking for alternatives, we can choose the first solution and begin working on it.
Another example, we may have a number of alternatives already and we don’t want to add any more to this set. So we choose something and go forward. Now we need to find possible scenarios where this behaviour will be beneficial.
To be beneficial the existing solutions should be better than possible alternatives. Or at least the existing solutions plus the saved time should provide more value. It may happened in the known environment, for example, if a person has encountered something similar before. So the solution would be known in advance.
But if the environment has changed, old solutions may not work. The more changes the environment has the less likely old solution will be good enough. In this case we have to look for alternatives and consider them.
Our world is changing rapidly in many areas, but in the same time many things may stay the same for a long time in other areas. With this knowledge we can decide do we need to look for alternatives and how rigorous this search should be.
The same could be said about other critical thinking skills, people don’t have to use them every second of their lives, only in a number of cases.