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I’ve been writing blogs and articles for almost 2 years now.
One of the things I noticed about writing is that it helps you think and can facilitate problem solving.
Many of us are so used to solving problems in our heads, it works fine when the problem is simple. For example, 2+3. But for many of us, complex problems can’t be solved in our heads. Problems like 99 * 199.
When you write your thoughts down, you can analyze them.
There are two steps when writing to solve problems:
1) Writing everything down
2) Editing your thoughts.
Writing everything down
I use the term “writing” loosely, I mean both writing in words & sentences and drawing graphs or diagrams.
Write everything you can think of on a piece of paper or in a word processor.
In this stage, the key is to keep writing. You don’t need to worry about grammar or spelling - that comes later in the editing process.
You can start by writing down the problem. Once you write it down, you’ll notice that your mind automatically focuses on solutions or ideas to stimulate solutions.
When you have more than one ideas, it’s helpful to group similar ones together by categories.
For example, I was working on creating a standard process for company events.
There are three stages for an event:
This is a clear structure that is helpful for organization.
Budgeting belongs in the first category “pre-event.” Having conversations with event attendees and collecting their business cards belongs in the second category “during the event.” Calculating event ROI belongs in the last category “post-event.”
If you start the budgeting process while the event is happening, well, it doesn’t fit the structure above (or make sense).
Editing serves the purpose of eliminating extraneous information and keeping focus.
Let’s say that your company replaced locks and keys with a new door system using key cards. And you’re responsible for explaining the new system to your colleagues.
You write down your presentation and delineate a two group structure, “how to get in” and “how to get out”.
While editing your presentation, you noticed a comment “Don’t put your key card next to a heat source.” It doesn’t fit your structure, so delete it.
Remember, the purpose is to explain the new system simply and clearly. Not to cram information in that doesn’t fit the focus of your presentation.
Eliminate. Focus. Less is more.
So, do you have a problem you haven’t been able to solve in your head?
Try writing it down using the method in this article. I think you will be surprised at the results.