Thursday, 21 February 2013

Make a new plan, Stan.

Unless it's something incontestable like 'how many hydrogen atoms are there to each one of oxygen in a water molecule' or 'which side of a slice of buttered toast always hits the floor if you drop it', very rarely is there just one right answer to life's questions.

So when you're faced with problems and challenges in your own life, whilst it can be tempting to rush off with the first solution that springs to mind, it often pays to think things through more carefully - although not so carefully that you never move beyond the weighing up phase into the action one.

When I worked in advertising I learnt that one key to solving problems creatively was to know that the more ideas you came up with, the more likely it was that just occasionally you'd strike gold, and at the very least find a solution that stood a better than evens chance of working.

Generally the best strategy seemed to be to write ideas down as soon as you had them - then put them out of your head so you could move on to the next one.

When someone asked me a question about this the other day, I realised that I'm a great proponent of cracking challenges by writing down as many solutions as possible.

Get them down on paper. Move on to the next idea. Then (the important bit) go back to sift through the possibilities and run with the best of them.

It might not be possible to make up your mind immediately, hence the advantage of capturing it all on paper.

If there's something bothering you, why not start by listing a few options?