Systematic approach

Most people jump straight from finding a problem to attempting to solve it.

Having a systematic approach to how you deal with problems, as opposed to just going by gut and feelings, can make a big difference in how you creatively find answers to your obstacles.

@christopher_gc489

🧐

Problem Solving

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Study the problem first

Detectives and investigators use the process. They ask both obvious and unthinkable questions.

Get close and collect information about how the problem is manifesting.  Understand where the problem does and doesn’t happen, when the problem started, and how often the problem occurs to generate critical insight for the problem-solving effort.

  • Don’t look for solutions immediately; Keep redefining the problem until you arrive at the root cause.
  • Don’t try to guess the solution; try to understand how the obstacles, or challenges manifest first.
  • Gather data to analyze all potential root causes.
  • Consider all options, regardless of how irrelevant they currently appear.
  • Find a way to connect the dots. Make better analogies. One good analogy is worth three hours of discussion.

  • A problem broken down is half way solved. E.g: if you don’t have enough money to get a mortgage, you could divide the obstacle into “too little income,” “high expenses,” and “expectations of future house.”
  • Address each category on its own.
  • Once you have categories, it’s very easy to continue digging.
  • Finally, execute the best action plan.

The point of analysis is to never accept statements at face value, including your own.

In many situations when people encounter a problem, they tend to default to what they should do instead of asking what they could do.

Could helps you think outside an existing problem to generate more creative solutions.

Should narrows your thinking process to one answer, the one that seems most obvious.

Concentrating harder won’t force that ‘eureka moment’ you need.

Instead, your best option might be to step away from the problems and get do something unrelated to the project.

When you stop thinking about a task, your brain continues working on the problem in the background.

The power of the incubation period

For many years, scientists have found that amazing ideas, solutions to problems and obstacles often come to people when they aren’t actively trying to develop a solution.

The incubation period works because your brain gets to take a break from everything distracting you.

Working backwards is useful when the final result is clear but the initial portion of a problem is obscure.

Reverse engineering allows you to notice patterns your brain normally ignores.

In many cases, when you are tempted to stay up late to find a solution to an obstacle, you might be better sleeping on it.

The brain makes better connections when you are asleep, allowing you to make new and useful associations between unrelated ideas.

Your brain might solve the problem for you while you’re fast asleep.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEAS

Instead of rushing towards a solution, we need time to comprehend the problem, how it started, what is the root cause, and what is the actual effect. Redefine the problem until you find the hidden one.

Write down the process if possible, asking questions like what pattern is being noticed, the recurring factor, the initial time it happened among other questions. We need to find good analogies and connect the dots to get to the real answers.

9

IDEAS

First Principles Thinking
We normally use existing methodologies and analogies to solve problems, which is essentially short-cut thinking.
Engaging in 'First Principles Thinking' makes us discard existing knowledge, and get down to the essentials, exploring on our own and questioning everything. This uncharted terrain takes us to the absolute truth which we call the First Principle. When we understand the core of the problem, we can build creative and unique solutions.
    Practical ways to use First Principles Thinking
    • If you’re starting a business, use first principles to build a product or service that’s fundamentally better than the competition.
    • If your day is too busy, first principles thinking could help you get everything done in less time and with less stress.
    • If you’re trying to get healthier, building from the first principles will help you build a routine that works for you rather than struggling with diets and exercises you hate.

    © Brainstash, Inc

    AboutCuratorsJobsPress KitTopicsTerms of ServicePrivacy PolicySitemap