8 things I do to solve problems creatively

T Ashok @ash_thiru on Twitter

Summary
Over the years there are a few things that I do consistently to solve problems technical or business. The process is magical, to see the larva of an idea become a beautiful butterfly, the solution. This article outlines this as eight things I do as a collection of posters with crisp text.


Explore problem by puttering around, to understand it better,
to try out mini  experiments of potential solutions to germinate ideas.
The path to solving a problem is never straight line.
Focus, meander, move continuously,
observe to form a good mental picture.
After all, great clarity is key to brilliant problem solving.

As you explore, picturise the various facets of problem and
various solution bits as doodles, mind maps, or diagrams.
Be non-linear, use colours to enhance stimulation of thoughts.

Experiment with the problem,
see if you can spot similarities to prior problems,
connect to get a better handle to understand
and vigorously pursue possibilities.

As you explore,experiment,
jot down interesting observations,
ideas, solution possibilities.
Be terse, so that you are
not distracted from what you doing.
After all, quick notes help in assimilating better
and jotting down quick ideas as they come by.

Describing the problem, explaining ideas,
solutions to a willing listener is something I do every time.
It clarifies my thoughts,
enables me to identify solutions that have been dogging me.
And this is just me explaining,
not including suggestions and more ideas
that I get from the listener.

Sometimes when mind is filled with information,
struggling to process, clueless about coming with ideas, solutions,
I stop whatever I am doing, empty my mind 
and in the utter calm, ideas/solutions fly in gently.

At times when it has been frustrating
to see nothing emerging to solve the problem,
I have found it wise to discard the pursuit
for solution and do something else.
Deflect my mind and engage in something else .
And after some time, suddenly ideas flash.

Once an idea to a solution presents itself, I work feverishly on it.
Implementing, refining, continually polishing by working feverishly.
Totally immersed, all senses absolutely tuned to the act of implementation.
Magical it is to see a larva of the idea become the beautiful butterfly of a solution.

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