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Be a Model Problem Solver

images (11)Do you have trouble solving problems at work, with your career or at home? Possible difficulties making decisions because of too much choice? Well help is at hand with this very simple 7 step model that can easily apply to most problems or perhaps those tricky decisions that need to be made.

The important first step to problem solving is making sure that you have identified a single, focused target problem that is clearly defined. Be specific what exactly is the problem to solve? For example need more money, well is for a birthday treat, new car or what exactly? This involves defining the problem you are going to tackle and making sure what it is. This step is particularly important if you feel overwhelmed by a wide range of different problems. In doing this, it is important to choose a target problem that:

1) Will be useful for changing how you are or the choices made
2) Is a specific target problem so that you will know when you have done it.
3) Is realistic: is it practical and achievable?

One way of thinking about this process of clearly defining the target problem is to think of it as a funnelling process – funnelling down from the general problem area to a more specific problem that you tackle first. So here we the seven steps to problem solving go steps to solve a problem –

Step 1: Identify and clearly define the problem as precisely as possible i.e what exactly is you want to change or the choice to be made.

Step 2: Think up as many solutions as possible.

Step 3: Look at the advantages and disadvantages of each of the possible solutions. Score them from 1-10 from least to most obvious solution or choice.

Step 4: Choose one of the solutions

Step 5: Plan the steps needed to carry it out

Step 6: Carry out the plan.

Step 7: Review the outcome.

This simple but effective model helps narrow down problems & choices to become more precise, focussed and achievable. It can help reduce the stress, procrastination and anxiety around making a decision or solving a problem you have. Give it a go to free up more time and make seemingly big problems a lot less of a worry.