Twice in the last couple of days, people have come to me at work to solve a problem. When I was younger, I jumped in with both feet and never stopped to think about how I will do this.
What occurred to me this afternoon, is that I now ask this question first of myself. This has become a very effective tool for me to save time in the long-run.
It may take ten minutes one time and an hour the next time to answer this question. What is most powerful about answering this question is that it slows you down. It’s hard to bring about a knee-jerk reaction to a situation. You won’t “spin your wheels” as much either.
By asking this question first, I have found that there is usually a few different ways to approach a problem. This gives me some time to see what will work the best before I expend any effort. What I try may not work even after thinking about my approach to solve something though, so I must caution you this approach is not always guaranteed.
Testing myself to see if I am including all of what I know about, what I am challenged to work through, and trying to decide what “pieces to the puzzle” I can identify has helped me on many occasions simplify what I am being challenged with. It becomes much easier to solve the issue because of all of this pre-work.
Working with what I know rather than what I don’t know has been one of my favorite tools to work through things that seem messy. I admit it appears counter-intuitive but works really well.
How will I do it? How will you do it? It’s a great question for you to try to answer the next time you are challenged to work through something.