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February 20, 2012 / mike54martin

Even More Ways to….. Solve a Problem

Here’s the final installation of the 50 ways to solve a problem.  And a bonus one at the end.

Strategies to help you determine which possible solution is best

 

34. Estimate the likely costs and benefits of possible solutions.

Calculate the risks and chances of success in certain options. Eliminate high risk and low success solutions.

35. Choose one or more options to implement.

Sometimes one route is best and at other times using a multi-prong approach may work. But make a choice to do something, anything.

36. Implement the best solution and collect information about the effects of it. Try your best possible solution and monitor its effects over a period of time.

 

Strategies to help you function optimally while problem solving

 

37. Think of options without immediately evaluating them.

Brainstorming is a good way to get lots of ideas on the table. Sometimes even a bad idea can lead to a good solution.

38. Set a goal with a purpose you value.

Setting a goal is an important step towards achieving it. It commits you to a solution and may provide impetus to get there.

39. Avoid distraction.

Distractions slow the problem solving process so you need to reduce or eliminate them to reach a solution.

40. Work in a new setting.

Get out of the office and go somewhere where you are not easily distracted and may come up with new thinking.

41. Adjust time limit to optimum.

Give the problem as much attention and time as you can afford. Like Goldilock’s porridge. Not too short, not too long. Just right.

42. Work with someone.

Two heads are better than one. Unless they are part of the problem.

43. Create a positive mood with an optimum arousal level.

Problem solving is easier when you have a positive attitude so find ways that get you out of your funk before you begin.

44. Think of the problem as a challenge or opportunity.

Reframe the situation or problem so that you can see solving it as a positive step. The problem may be serious but our mood in solving it doesn’t have to be.

45. Think confidently.

If you believe that you can solve the problem you probably will. Confidence will keep us going until we reach a solution.

46. Take a break.

After you’ve worked on the problem for a while and you feel tension or pressure, take a break. Go for a walk and clear your head to let new air and new ideas in.

47. Persist.

If you stay with it you will find a solution to your problem. It’s only a matter of time, and persistence.

Strategies to help you solve multiple problems

 

48. Adopt a problem solving orientation.

Don’t go looking for trouble, but seek to become a problem solver. You will learn new skills and techniques and become a valuable member of your work team. Remember, you don’t have to solve all the problems all the time.

49. Apply triage.

Decide which problem is most pressing and work on it first. Your triage may include deciding which problem is most important, has the greatest chance of success, or can be done the most quickly. That’s how the hospitals do it.

50. Solve one problem at a time.

Don’t give up if you have multiple problems to resolve. Focus on one and work on that until you find a solution. Then on to the next one.

Once again thank you to John Malouff from the University of New England, in Armidale, Australiaf or permission to use his research.

Bonus

51.  Stop being a screw up and creating all these problems to solve.

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One Comment

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  1. John / Feb 23 2012 4:35 pm

    Thanks, these are all great strategies and very helpful.

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