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Analytical Problem Solving: Cure for Confusion

Analytical Problem Solving in 8 steps - kingsley aigbona

Have you ever felt confused? I have! The feeling could sometimes last for a whole weekend, until I discovered how to cure myself. Whenever I feel confused now, I switch on my Analytical Problem Solving skill.

Worry is one of the most common sources of confusion. When the feeling of confusion is allowed unchecked, it can lead to many unwanted repercussions. These repercussions can have adverse effect on one’s health and threaten their relationship with colleagues, friends and family members. Analytical Problem Solving can help people to be more in control of their lives and everything that connects to it. Learn the skill by reading and understanding this article. 

Before we start studying the steps in Analytical Problem Solving, let us quickly take a look at why. I believe that the most important reason we need to learn the skill is so that we can stay healthy. The connection between this study and your health is so strong. Too much worrying can ultimately kill a person or render them useless on their jobs and career. Apart from that, few of the adverse effects of unsettled worry/confusion include;

  1. Overwhelming feeling of anxiety
  2. Hampered productivity
  3. Feeling of unworthiness
  4. Temporily Lost Focus

Almost everyone who is busy get to get this “confusion attack” every now and then. The key to managing it through Analytical Problem Solving is switching from your emotional brain to your analytic brain. Once you do this, you would then be able to objectively proffer the needed solution. The solution I and many of my students have used over the years is an eight-step one.

The Solution

  1. List sources of worries
  2. Analyse each situation
  3. List possible solutions
  4. Resources needed for solution
  5. Action points/dates
  6. People factor
  7. Action
  8. Report progress and analyse

We shall now study them one after the other.

List Sources of Worries

Listing the sources of your worry can help to make them less powerful than your emotional brain is making them “feel”. I personally find this exercise very therapeutic. Whenever you are having a session with your psychologist and they start asking you questions, this is what they are making you do. Only difference here is that the psychologist is making you do it mentally. This exercise will help your analytic mind to teach your emotional mind that the problem is not as bad as it is making you feel. Your system will then begin the process of bringing your emotional brain at par with your analytic brain.

This exercise does not have to be a complicated one. Simply list the sources of worry and confusion as number 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on. Let each situation be on a fresh line.

Analyse each situation

Ask yourself certain questions and answer them objectively – with your analytical brain. As much as possible, don’t let your emotional brain interfare. The following questions will help;

  1. Is this problem a life threatening one? If yes, why do I think so (write it down)? If no, just write “no”.
  2. Can I profer a solution to it myself, without help?
  3. How much time do I need to solve it?
  4. For how long has this problem been existing?
  5. Will I (or anyone else) die if this problem is not solved today?
  6. When is the deadline for this problem?

If you are very objective while answering these questions, the feeling of despair would have almost completely worn out. These questions should be answered for each situation.

List possible solutions

Take a situation and proffer solutions to it. Proffer as many as possible. Do this for all the situations. Write down as many solutions can reach your mind at that time. If possible, have each of the situation and its solutions written on a fresh paper. No solution is stupid. Write down everything that enters your mind. This exercise is so powerful that it will put your brain on a “solution-seeking-mode”. This mode will ensure solutions keep coming to your mind even when you are asleep.

Resources needed for solution

This is the step in which you list the resources that will be needed to bring solution to your source of worry. How much money do you need to get the solution? Is that the best cost? How much time do you need? Do you need building bricks/blocks? DO you need envelops? Do you need a computer? This exercise will help you to quantify what is needed to proffer solution to your worry. I have spoken with people who were so worried that they could not breath. At first, they would offer a hopeless “I don’t know” to every question you ask them. This exercise always help them to be “on top” of the problem and give them power over it. This power starts in your conscious mind, influences your subconscious mind and then, ultimately, your reality.

[tweetthis remove_hidden_hashtags=”true”]This power starts in your conscious, influences your subconscious mind & ultimately, ur reality[/tweetthis]

Action points/dates

In this step, assign action points to yourself. What will YOU DO about the problem? Include dates and attainable targets for yourself. Many people always think that their situations are hopeless. I believe that there are no hopeless situations. It all depends on your perspective of life. The truth is that there is always something YOU can do about every situation. Even if its just a phone call, that’s something! Write it down and think of other things YOU can do. Is it jogging, eating early, sending out more job applications, approaching more customers? What is it? Write them all down. As you brainstorm and write down 2 or 3 action points, your creative brain will take over from your analytical brain and soon, your paper will be full of action points. However, even if its only a handful of points you are able to write, don’t worry. That’s fine! This exercise will help you all the same.

[tweetthis]Read about d 8 Steps to Analytical Problem Solving here #problemSolving[/tweetthis]

People factor

No matter how self-sufficient or independent you are, you can never be successful without people. Sometimes, even the “analysis part” of the Analytical Problem Solving exercise is incomplete without someone participating in it with you.

So, on paper, identify the people you are going to need to bring solutions to the areas of worry you have identified. Many times, we’ve discovered that whenever people are worried by many situations, only one of them is actually urgent. So instead of trying to get people to help you with all aspects of all the problems, pick the most urgent. Do you need someone to help you to call in a favour? Write their name. Do you need someone to help you meet someone else? Write the person’s name. And make sure to include the duty the person will perform alongside his name. If you are a manager or businessowner with people working under you, this exercise is easier if its a challenge at work. If its a personal challenge, you will be require to call friends.

Action – start acting immediately

Analytical Problem Solving will not work if there is no action. Now that you have identified and analysed what is actually the source of your worries and the various factors that are needed for the solution, it is time to act. And act immediately. If you end the exercise without this particular step, you will feel better. But that feeling will only last for a while. Taking action is what will guarantee that you don’t find yourself in that position of confusion and frustration any time soon.

The first action to take is a To-Do List. What will you do today, tomorrow, and the day after and so on? What will you do about that area of worry by next month? Write it all down.

Then take the first action. If you need to call someone, this is the best time.

Report progress and analyse

Create a reporting schedule. How often do you want to sit down and and write something about what you have done so far? Determine that and write it down. It shouldn’t be complicated. It can be every Monday and Thursday. It can be every Friday. Choose what is okay for you to follow through but it shouldn’t be less than once a week. Analytical Problem Solving works best when it is followed through on a timely basis.

When you start taking action, start reporting at your pre-agreed time. Then analyse. Am I making progress? Am I doing what I said I will do? Amongst those I wrote their names down to solicitate for their help, how many have I informed? Which of them are actually responding? Do I need to replace any and with whom?


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