Problem Solving


Tractable tasks are easier. Most people will reach for the easier tasks, increasing competition for that work.

But people often shrink back from complicated work. If you can slog through the difficulties, it becomes more valuable because the competition is reduced. However, not all important work is intractable. We have to pay attention to where intractability and importance meet.

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Problem Solving


New studies reveal that customer’s patience levels increase when they are provided with a feeling of nostalgia, alleviating the negative effects of waiting long.

The experiment shows that being in a state of nostalgia relaxes us and puts us in a positive mood, as we remember a unique or favourite experience of the past, which we are unlikely to experience again. Example: A long waiting line at the checkout counter can benefit from 70s music playing in the background.

Making mistakes is fine, but making the same mistake over and over is not. We need to make mistakes, and learn from it, or else we will keep living the same year in repeat mode. If we don’t analyse and reflect on our actions, we will never learn from our mistakes and will be unable to calibrate our decision making.

The thumb rule here is to be less busy, and maintain a daily journal to think and reflect on your past actions.

  • Self-testing: Doing practice problems, flashcard reviews or even creating your own questions gives you the chance to see past familiarity and get more accurate information about what you know and don’t know.
  • Self-explanation: Articulation is a difficult task, so weaknesses in your knowledge get exposed quickly.
  • Psychophysics is an experimental branch of psychology that investigates the limits of human perception.
  • Humans are hardwired to be delusional about their actions and are extremely sensitive to how the world responds to whatever they do.
  • The key takeaway of this puzzle is that even though our beliefs may be false, they create a rational inference that may be needed in an uncertain world.

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