Problem Solving Can Be Easy
by Helene Malmsio
We all face problems from time to time. Sometimes we get really stuck, unable to find a decent solution. A lot of the time it’s because we really don’t know how to think up those solutions.
Here are a few simple self help techniques to help you solve the problems that you face.
1) Brainstorm: Don’t just sit around waiting for something to pop into your head. This rarely works.
Instead, start a brainstorm. Write down anything that occurs to you as remotely helpful to your problem.
Then, once one or two basics are on the page, start thinking more specifically about those and note down any ideas that come from them.
Draw lines between the original idea and any ideas that came from it, to show how your ideas are connected.
Pretty soon you’ll have a range of ideas down on paper, and once you have some ideas it’s easier to come up with even more – just like the snowball effect. This is a great way to generate possible solutions quickly and get you thinking on topic.
2) Take Notes: Sometimes ideas come to you out of the blue when you’re doing something completely unrelated. You might be typing something up for work, or taking a bite of your sandwich when all of a sudden you have a great idea.
Whatever you do, don’t let these ideas go! And don’t, under any circumstance, think that you’ll just remember them later. You won’t remember them – so write them down! Take notes on any ideas that come to you as soon as you can.
3) Take A Walk: Sometimes we end up thinking too much, and this can make it harder for us to think clearly. One great way to get your head straight and think more clearly about your problems is to take a walk.
Make sure it’s casual, and try not to think about your problem too much. Enjoy yourself and relax as much as possible.
At a later point in the walk, you might want to think a bit more about your problem again – but this time you’ll be doing it with a fresh mind.
If you don’t come up with any possible solutions during the walk at all then don’t think of it as wasted time. Sometimes a break from thinking is what you need to come up with new ideas, and a walk works perfectly for this purpose.
4) Come Back To It Later: If you don’t have a tight time limit, then leave your problem for a while. Make notes on what your thoughts are up to this point, and then put it all to one side for a while – a few days, a week, or a month.
After that time has passed, come back to your problem again. Look at what you noted down when you left it and see what you think of those ideas now. With a fresh mind you may now find that you can take your old ideas and go further with them.
5) Nap On It: Einstein was famous for using naps to solve his problems. He found that his best ideas came to him if he thought about a problem long and hard and then took a nap. At the point when he would just fall asleep he usually got his best ideas.
In order to make sure he didn’t end up snoozing and forgetting what he came up with, he held a handful of balls so that when his hand relaxed as he fell to sleep the balls fell from his hand and woke him up.
He’d then go and write down his new ideas. Why not give it a go, and see if this works for you?
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