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Study the problem first

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.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

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 brai...

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.

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.

  • 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.

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.

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 ...

  • 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.

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 t...

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Michael J. Gelb

“You can increase your problem-solving skills by honing your question-asking ability.”

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Grandmasters know how to look ahead

One myth is that grandmasters can see ten or more moves ahead.

The truth is that in just the first four moves, there are 318 billion moves you can make. This is too much even for grandmasters, so they use various techniques to be able to look ahead.

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Retrograde Analysis

  • It is a style of problem solving where you work backwards from the endgame you want.
  • Retrograde Analysis can help you win at chess or solve a problem in real life.

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