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A Structured Approach to Effective Problem-Solving

Problem-Solving STEP 1: What Is Your Practical Worry? Write down the practical worry you want to try and solve here STEP 2: What Is The Problem? Convert the worry into a problem you want to try and solve below. STEP 3: What Solutions Are There? Don’t reject anything at this stage, however silly it may seem! STEP 4: What Are The Strengths and Weaknesses Of Each Solution?


Kamila Niewitala

6/1/20242 min read

a man in a boxing ring with a punching baga man in a boxing ring with a punching bag

Step 1: Identifying Your Practical Worry

In our daily lives, we often encounter various worries that can cloud our judgment and hinder our progress. The first step to effective problem-solving is to clearly identify your practical worry. This involves introspection and understanding the core of what is bothering you. Write it down as specifically as possible. For example, instead of writing 'I am worried about my job,' be more precise: 'I am worried about meeting the project deadline.' This specificity helps in focusing your efforts on the actual concern.

Step 2: Converting the Worry into a Problem

Once you have identified your practical worry, the next step is to convert this worry into a tangible problem that you can address. This translation is crucial because it transforms a vague anxiety into something actionable. For instance, if your worry is about meeting a project deadline, the problem could be: 'I need to manage my time effectively to complete the project by the deadline.' This rephrasing makes it easier to strategize and find solutions.

Step 3: Brainstorming Solutions

Now that you have a clearly defined problem, it's time to brainstorm possible solutions. At this stage, it's important to be open-minded and consider all potential solutions, no matter how unconventional they may seem. List down every idea that comes to mind without filtering or rejecting any of them. This inclusive approach encourages creativity and ensures that you don't overlook potentially effective solutions. For example, solutions to the project deadline problem could include: creating a detailed project timeline, delegating tasks, or even requesting an extension if necessary.

Step 4: Evaluating the Strengths and Weaknesses of Each Solution

With a list of potential solutions in hand, the next step is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each option. This involves analyzing the feasibility, potential outcomes, and possible challenges associated with each solution. For instance, creating a detailed project timeline might be highly feasible and effective, but it requires meticulous planning. Delegating tasks can reduce your workload but depends on the availability and competence of your team members. Requesting an extension might provide more time but could be viewed negatively by stakeholders. Weighing these factors will help you prioritize the most viable solutions.

By following these structured steps—identifying your practical worry, converting it into a problem, brainstorming solutions, and evaluating each option—you can approach problem-solving in a systematic and effective manner. This method not only helps in addressing the immediate issue but also equips you with a reliable framework for tackling future problems.