It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail, Abraham Harold Maslow.
We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them, Albert Einstein.
If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient, Hilary Mantel.
Problem solving is one of the most essential skills in life. How you handle those challenges and problems determines how successful you can be, what kind of person you really are.
Let me offer you a strategy for problem solving:
Let me be clear “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it” is bullshit. If you are forty-three years old and three feet tall, playing in the NBA is not going to happen, no matter how hard you try. Accept that reality always imposes constraints; understand the nature, extent, and root causes of the problem and what is within your reach.
Do not ever try to solve all your problems at once. Typically, it is important to realize that problems can be solved, but slowly and in a reasonable time frame - Give time to time!
Analyze alternatives. Be creative and discern all possible options. Formulate and analyze different alternatives, search for solutions that address the root causes instead of symptoms.
Decision. It is the selection of the best alternative among the various options available. It should be based on our objectives and accurate and relevant information. Its implementation needs to be realistic and feasible, as well as, the one which assumes a lower risk of execution.
“You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs”. Each big decision will require significant effort and sacrifice, and also you will need to abandon other initiatives, pursuits, projects, etc. to focus more heavily on the chosen one.
Make sure you have all the information available and have considered all possible alternatives. Ask for help from your friends and loved ones. Don’t make a snap decision, give a decision enough time to thoroughly weigh up the pros and cons, but without postponing it indefinitely.Think carefully and thoroughly. Remain true to your own personal values and core beliefs, consider if you get what you are worth and you don’t undersell yourself. Your decisions will affect your quality of life, and consequently, they are very important.
Design a plan of action so you can implement the selected solution. This step is about defining clearly what to do (the plan should be divided into tasks and subtasks and these tasks should be sequenced and prioritized), who will do it, where, how (what human, material, and financial resources are available and how they are going to be used? What are the standards and requirements?), and when (timing).
Implementation. It is the realization of the tasks specified in the plan. It is the moment of perseverance, working hard, and finishing what you have started. It is what separates the losers from the winners (“Victory belongs to the most persevering,” Napoleon Bonaparte), what makes the difference.
Evaluation. Assess if the problem is resolved or not. Have the actions taken been successful in resolving it? Were the decisions adopted the right ones? Have the tasks been executed and completed according to your plan? This evaluation should result in a constructive feedback and encouragement to improve the whole process.