It is important to develop problem solving skills. You will need these skills at school, at work and at home so that you can overcome obstacles and find the best possible solutions. I’m sure you’ve heard this statement before “Some of the best solutions are the simplest ones”. Try practicing these simple tips on how to solve a problem:
- Take time out. When you over think a problem it simply becomes more difficult instead of easy to solve. Take time out to do something different for a bit. Go outside and enjoy some sun, or take a nap. Many times the answers we are searching for come to us when we are just about to fall asleep.
- Have a brainstorming session. Depending on the problem you are trying to solve it may be wise to gather together co-workers if it is a business problem, or family members if it is a personal problem. Explain your problem and allow everyone to share their ideas on how to solve it. Others will often share points of view that never even occurred to you. Once your session is over you will be able to tackle your problem with more information and ideas.
- Document it. Start writing down everything you know about the problem at hand and then look for the missing bits and pieces of information necessary to formulate a good solution.
- Break a large problem into smaller parts. Tackling a large problem can feel so overwhelming to us and often times we look for ways to avoid dealing with the problem all together. But by breaking a large problem down into smaller pieces it will appear easier. You can work on each piece separately and build an overall solution.
- Look at all of your options. Make a list of all of the possible solutions to your problem. For example, I know a couple that are very unhappy with the house they are currently renting. Possible solutions for them could be to find a different place to rent, move back in with one of their parents, move in with friends, or buy a house of their own. Each one is a possible solution which they can analyze to see what works best for them.
One of the keys to solving important problems is to be patient and not rush through it. You will also benefit greatly from other people’s input and advice\support.