6 Key Tips for Effective Problem Solving
Problems are something we all encounter. It’s part of life! Learning how to effectively solve problems is a skill that anyone can learn, and it can help you move forward out of the problem, rather than staying stuck.
We have outlined 6 tips for effective problem solving.
Problem Solving Step 1: Decide whether the problem is worth solving
Some problems just aren’t worth solving! It might be more efficient to move on and direct your energies elsewhere. If you are struggling to discern whether it’s worth solving or not, make a list of pros and cons, or talk with a friend or coach.
Problem Solving Step 2: Determine what resources will be needed to solve it
What is it going to take to solve the problem? Will it take time, money, emotional energy? What are the steps you’ll need to take? Make a list and consider all the angles.
Problem Solving Step 3: Take account of your resources.
Now that you know what resources it will take to solve the problem, consider whether or not you have them. This is also where you can get creative! Open your eyes to the kind of resources that are available to you. Consider monetary, time, and social resources (like friends and family).
Problem Solving Step 4: Settle in for the long haul.
If you are dedicated to solving your problem, you may need to be patient. Sometimes things work out smoothly, and…sometimes they don’t. That’s ok. It could be that the problem is more complicated than you originally thought, or maybe things got more complicated along the way. That doesn’t mean it isn’t still worth solving.
Problem Solving Step 5: Think about the future.
As you work through your problem, keep the aftermath in the back of your mind. Some of us have a habit of thinking that as soon as we solve the problem at hand, we’ll know peace. As we work through the things in front of us, life shifts and changes around us.
Problem Solving Step 6: Reconsider how you think about “problems.”
This may be the most important step of all. How we see our problems shapes how we handle them. If problems are seen as something to be avoided or ignored they will be hard to deal with. Instead view them as challenges to overcome, and opportunities to learn and grow.