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Slowing down can be difficult to do but can make a big difference.Another approach to help slow things down is to come back to a problem.Effective problem solving is more like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle.

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When you start looking at a problem and it seems really simple, you don’t really understand the complexity of the problem.

Then you get into the problem, and you see that it’s really complicated, and you come up with all these convoluted solutions.

The seasoned problem solver however is calm and relaxed in the face of problems as they know that solutions always exist and with the right approach (outlined below) they will triumph. If you find yourself looking into the steely cold eyes of one or more of these I don't like your chances.

Unless, of course, Chuck Norris happens to be standing next to you.) When you are calm you are able to think clearer and more creatively.

I like to ask these general questions (about anything and everything): You will also find that by asking these questions, new questions arise specific to the situation or problem. I think it is largely because when you try to explain something to someone else you have to slow down.

Speech is naturally a slower process than thought and you also tend to phrase it differently when you tell the problem to someone else rather than just thinking internally.

I see many students take the Where's Wally approach to problem solving.

That is, they randomly, rapidly skim, hoping to find the solution.

Leave it for a day or two (or an hour or two) and come back to it.

You'll be surprised how much of a difference it can make.


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