Problem-solving strategies aren’t just for use in business or the medical field. You can apply them in your daily life as well. There are dozens of possible strategies to employ, so you can find those that work best for you. Three of the simplest ones to begin testing out are creating a timeline, using a fishbone diagram and applying triage.
Create a Timeline
Identifying the cause is helpful in solving problems. When the cause isn’t so obvious, you can create a cause-and-effect timeline. Writing them down on paper while working through the potential causes helps you brainstorm and get closer to the real core of the problem. Imagine what would happen if you removed the source of the difficulty. Go through the cause-and-effect timeline again to get an idea of what the results would then be. Creating a timeline is helpful for gaining clarity, reducing stress, and solving everyday issues.
Use a Fishbone Diagram
The fishbone diagram is also called the Ishikawa Diagram, and was created to help managers get to the root of issues at work. It’s great for identifying preventative measures as well. The fishbone diagram is a visual aid that places the basic problem to the right. Extending from there like the spine and ribs of a fish are the causes. Examples of major categories included on the diagram might be policies, systems, processes, forms and people. You can adjust the categories as needed for brainstorming potential reasons behind everyday problems.
What do you do when you’re suddenly faced with multiple problems? Triage is an excellent tool for these situations. It has long been used in the medical field. This strategy involves sorting your problems into one of three categories: most important outcome, greatest chance for a solution and nearest deadline. Sometimes, you’ll find the problem with the most important outcome is not the one that needs to be solved first. However, categorizing your problems into these three categories is tremendously useful in organizing your mind and helping you realize in which order you should address them. Having a clear direction will help relieve your stress so you can apply more of your mental energy to actually tackling these issues one at a time.
Problems are a normal part of life, but that doesn’t mean they need to be stressful. Once you have several effective problem-solving strategies in your toolbox, you will find it less overwhelming when obstacles arise or bad things happen. Whether you’re a mom, college student or working professional, you can use these techniques in your daily challenges.
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