As humans, we’re prone to many different unhealthy stimulants during our day. It might be as simple as a wrong coffee at your favorite spot or as major as losing a job. For the majority, we can move on from the moment. However, there are other moments that can’t be let go. Not because it has happened once, but because it has become a pattern.
As Karl Popper, who was a 20th century philosopher of science, once quoted, “All life is problem solving.”
Let us look at some different ways to improve our problem solving skills.FREE Checklist: How To Achieve A Mindset For Success
5 Ways To Improve Your Problem Solving Skills
1. Take a Break
If you simply can’t have a calm discussion with someone, this is the time to get some air. Go to another room, or outside. By removing yourself from the situation, it allows your brain to process the argument and figure out a different approach. If you know that the person will not back down, simply end the conversation till later.
Engineering professor Barbara Oakley quoted to the Mother Jones newspaper, “When you are focusing, you are blocking your access to the diffuse mode. The diffuse mode, it turns out, is what you often need to be able to solve an exceedingly difficult, new problem.”
2. Keep a Journal
If the problem is more serious, try writing down the issue. Often, our brains have a hard time sorting through the feelings before even tackling the solution. Write down the why, what, when, etc. Add to each subtitle with more sensible ideas. Much like an outline you do for an essay in school. Get it all out on paper first. Then, go back and read each entry. Does it make sense? Does it seem like a better approach to ending the problem?
Author Natalie Goldberg quoted, “Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.”
3. Sleep on It
Some problems can’t be solved in one day. By keeping yourself up worrying about it, not only is bad for your physical health but worse for your mental health. The National Institutes of Health estimates that up to 30% of the general population complain of sleep disruption. Compound that with an unresolved issue, and now you have not only the task of resolving the matter in question but your own poor health to deal with.
4. Have a Chat
If the problem isn’t resolved and your feeling overwhelmed, sometimes voicing the problem is therapeutic. Call a friend, family, spouse, etc. Someone that is close to you that has some understanding of your personality.
When we are emotional, it is hard to see our own behaviors. By having a ‘third-party’ hear the problem, it gives us that moment to release that anger or sadness and re-focus on the base of the problem more rationally.
5. Tackle it Head On
This is the moment that your feeling strong enough emotionally to solve the problem. This might look like, talking to the person that you feel has wronged you or getting up everyday to find that new job because you must pay the bills. When we push ourselves to resolve the hurdle that is holding us back, we are rewarded with feelings of satisfaction and less anxiety.
Free Checklist: How Your Mindset Affects Your Problem Solving Skills
As Albert Einstein eloquently summed it up, “We cannot solve our problems with same level of thinking that created them.” By practicing and utilizing the tips above you’ll improve your problem solving skills and your mental health will thank you.
The mindset we adopt affects our judgment. A success mindset means that when you have challenges, you’ll be able to work through them with confidence and clarity. It means that when you are presented with a challenge you’ll be able to set fears aside and see it as an opportunity. A Success Mindset means a more powerful, and more enjoyable, business. Check out this free checklist, Cultivating a Success Mindset to see if you have the 6 key qualities of a successful entrepreneur.