Overview: Problem Solving
All too often we overthink things we see as problems and sometimes that makes us feel worried or even overwhelmed. Yet problems are thrown at us on a daily basis. So it really helps to take a positive step by step approach to problem solving, a technique for both overcoming day-to-day obstacles and reducing our levels of worry.
A systematic approach means you deal with problems rather than being left with them to worry about. And that’s important because worry actually sometimes either leads us to avoid the problem altogether or to start overthinking it. Worrying also keeps us “in our heads” rather than paying attention to the here and now. It stops us approaching the problem rationally and, because our brains still try to process our worries at night, our sleep can be affected too.
Is there something in your life you are worried about or that you have been over-thinking?
Ask yourself if you have actually tried to solve the problem – or have you just been thinking about the problem, making it feel bigger and bigger?
Of course there are some problems that are simply out of your control, but for many personal issues it’s worth trying a different and systematic approach. The 7 Question Estimate Process is often used for problem solving on the battlefield: it’s a great tool for sorting your everyday problems as well.
Use the following step by step questions to help guide you through solving a problem:
- What is the problem and who is involved?
- What is my part in the issue?
- What effects do I want to have on the problem?
- Where can I best achieve these effects?
- What resources do I need to achieve these effects?
- When and where do I need to activate these resources in order for it to work?
- Do I need to ask for help, brief anyone or put in control measures to assure my plan doesn’t fail?