How to Make Creative Problem Solving Your Next Super Power 57

What is Creative Problem Solving? definition stages steps and techniques

Creative problem solving is the art of finding multiple solutions to an existing problem, and taking a decision on which one will be most effective. It’s a set of steps that need to be taken every time somebody faces a complex issue. Be it a student, employee or entrepreneur, at work or at home. We all struggle with little problems in daily life, but success and living a good life all come down to how well we cope with them.

If you learn more about creative problem solving, its stages and techniques, and get better at it, you’ll see progress in all areas of life in no time. Let’s define the term first.

What is Creative Problem Solving?

The art of problem solving is related to clearly defining a problem, gathering all the necessary information, analyzing and summarizing it. Then coming up with possible options to solve it, taking other people’s opinion into consideration, and making a decision that’s favorable for anyone involved.

It’s a mental process and you can easily master it over time. Creative problem solving starts with a problem. And ends not just with finding a solution, but also analyzing the outcome. It requires creative thinking, but also following some logical steps and organizing information in your mind. These are the creative problem solving steps. Let’s go through them right now.

The Creative Problem Solving Stages

The problem solving process is a set of steps. You need to follow these if you want to get things right from the beginning, make sure you don’t miss anything important, and come up with an effective solution. Here they are.

1. Define the problem.

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If you don’t describe the problem clearly enough, you won’t find the best solution for it. So take your time now.

Summarize the big picture first. Then get specific. Try to view this from different angles too, especially if there are other people involved.

Ask yourself some problem solving questions. Make them open-ended so that there are many possible answers. This will help you extract information about the issue more easily. And will become the foundation of the rest of the creative problem solving process.

2. Have a goal in mind.

To help you be focused and do this right, have an end goal and work with it. That gives you purpose and you’re less likely to be distracted by pursuing many outcomes at once.

2. Gather information.

Get your hands on anything you can that’s related to the problem. Don’t think about solving it now. Forget about the other creative problem solving techniques too. This stage is all about doing an extensive research, talking to others, finding details.

3. Analyze the data.

Here’s the time to categorize, prioritize and focus on the possible outcomes that will be most beneficial.

4. List solutions.

For the first draft, write down every possible thing you can think of. Even if some sound impossible, that’s alright. Keep your goal in mind. You’ll make the list shorter in a minute. But now let your creativity flow and use your imagination. It’s creative problem solving, after all.

5. Choose a solution to the problem.

Now’s the time to make a decision. You’ve done what you could to prepare, have all the facts and options to go from here on, so let’s decide and take action.

If you want to make the creative problem solving process as effective as possible, choose a solution that makes everyone in this situation happy. Which meets the goal, won’t require too much time or resources, and also doesn’t have any serious consequences.

In the end, take action and don’t overthink it. But do make sure you analyze the results and even document the journey. This way you’ll get better at creative problem solving and will be better prepared next time.

Techniques to Get Better at Solving Problems Creatively

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Now that you’re familiar with the creative problem solving stages, and will follow each step whenever you face a challenge and are looking for a solution, you can make use of some of the following problem solving techniques.

1. Use tools and templates.

There’s so much free content available online, together with resources to help you get anything done much faster.

Some cool problem solving solutions that you can google, download and put into practice right away are:

Project tracking template – free visual aid to organize your thoughts and steps when starting a new project. You can track goals, time, tasks, priorities, and the progress you see.

Mind map – start with one central idea, find the associated topics, and from there think of all other things related to it. Mind maps is basically a diagram, representing concepts that are linked somehow, and are all related to the main idea written in the centre.

2. Means-ends analysis.

The means-ends analysis aims to help you identify the steps that will lead you in the right direction. It strategically controls the search process of creative problem solving.

3. Hurson’s Productive Thinking Model.

This model is a structured framework consisting of 6 questions to ask yourself to begin the creative problem solving process.

The 6 steps are:

  1. Ask “What is going on?”
  2. Ask “What is success?”
  3. Ask “What is the question?”
  4. Generate answers.
  5. Forge the solution.
  6. Align resources.

4. 5 Why’s.

You might have heard of this one. It’s a problem solving method where you’re literally asking yourself ‘why’ over and over again (for different specific aspects of the problem) until you have clearly defined it. It helps you drill down to identify the underlying cause.

Here’s a video explaining the process:

Hope these creative problem solving techniques, together with learning a bit about the steps of the process, are enough to help you deal easier with anything you face in life from here on.

What are your thoughts on this?

Which one of the stages of creative problem solving would you find most difficult? Why?

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How Writing Improves Your Brain: Scientifically-Proven Benefits 22

How Writing Improves Your Brain: Scientifically-Proven Benefits

You can do more with your brain when you write regularly. Writing can help you to build a stronger brain that can handle information and thoughts with ease.

Did you know that you can improve your brain functions just by writing?

Anyone who works with a term paper writing service would know that one’s brain power will become stronger when someone writes regularly. There are many specific points to notice when looking at what makes writing useful for your brain with each helping you to get more out of your work in general.

These include a few aspects that have been scientifically proven to show just how great writing can be for your needs.

The Benefits of Writing for The Brain

1. Writing Makes You Feel Better.

Writing helps you to feel a little more confident in your work as you move forward.

A 2007 report by scientists at UCLA found that writing reduces actions in the amygdala, a part of the brain that regulates emotions. Writing encourages thinking processes and ensures any fears or worries you have about writing will be reduced. This keeps you focused and concentrated on your work.

2. Build Visualization Skills.

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As you write, you will have an easier time visualizing concepts. This helps you to plan everything you want to work with in a project so you can get your work organized and in check.

A 2014 report cites that when a person prepares to write, the visual center of the brain starts to become active. This allows the person to start to visualize ideas that can be used in a project.

This is useful for all writers, but it works even better when a writer has more experience. Advanced writers will have an easier time with planning out their content when they know what to do with it.

3. Train Yourself When You Learn Things.

You will retain information well when you write it down.

A 2010 report from experts at Indiana University says that people who write things down after hearing about them will have an easier time recalling that information later on. This is more efficient than just reading something and then trying to recall it.

Best of all, your brain will feel stronger regardless of whether you work with either a computer or pen and paper. However, the same report from Indiana University does say that you might recall the information a little better if you put in the extra effort into writing it by hand.

Writing will do wonders for your brain.

There are many other points about writing and how it improves your brain that you need to explore. These include factors relating to how you can write something and make it worthwhile for your efforts:

  • When you write things, your brain becomes more organized as you have released information out onto your document. It becomes easier for you to work with more content without worrying about excessive mental stress.
  • Your memory will also improve as you work with extra effort for jotting down something you have learned or are trying to store into your memory.
  • You can also think bigger after a while. You will start working more on specific concepts and ideas within a project when you get used to writing. This comes as you will have more information ready on hand for your work.

Writing gives you more control over how you can manage your brain while assisting you in feeling smarter and capable of doing more with your work.