The Secret of Effective Problem Solving Skills

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When I was a kid, I loved G.I Joe. If an episode was on TV, it didn’t matter what else was going on. I would be in the fight with Duke, Flint and my boys just doing what we did:

Fighting Cobra and saving the world, thirty minutes at a time.

The only lasting effect of my time with “The Joes” is the unconscious, automatic response that comes anytime I hear the phrase “Now you know…”

“…and knowing is half the battle!”

If knowing really is half the battle (it is) then it’s probably important that we learn all we can about our enemy.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

The secret to effective problem solving skills is to first know the problem you are trying to solve. So many miss this crucial step and end up solving the wrong problems…over and over again.

Time wasted re-solving the same problem is a battle won for busy.

I spent a day logging everything I did both at work and at home in hopes of getting some good intelligence on how Busy fights.

We’ll get into the details of this in a later post. For now, here’s the big revelation:

Lesson 1: Busy is mostly the outcome of good activities.

I wish this wasn’t true, but it is.

I spent most of my day engaged in tasks and projects that, if left unattended, would have a negative impact on my faith, family, health or community.

If this is the case, how do we win the fight against busy? We obviously can’t stop doing the things that we NEED to be doing!

Surely I wouldn’t suggest that we stop doing the GOOD things that fill our day. Right?

That’s exactly what I’m suggesting. Just not ALL of the good things.

Curious? Think I’m crazy? Good!

I’ll give you a teaser for the next post by asking the following question:

What “good” activities are you currently doing only to meet someone else’s expectations?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.