You’ve found yourself in a pickle and you’re endlessly looking for a solution but somehow things just keep getting messier. It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Just take a step back, and take control of the situation. Finding easy problem-solving ideas for all problems, big or small, isn’t a difficult task with the right mindset. Whatever your strategy is, do what works for you. The question remains, how are you supposed to find those problem-solving skills that work for you?
Read on to discover some problem-solving techniques to try out, who knows, maybe one or more of them will work for you.
Try to Prevent A Problem In the First Place
This first one goes without saying. What better way is there to solve a problem than doing everything in your power to prevent a problem from occurring in the first place? While sometimes this cannot be accomplished because some things happen beyond anyone’s control, there are times when certain problems or situations can be prevented. Some ways to try to prevent a problem are by planning ahead and staying organized. Students can stay organized by buying, and using a planner or a bulleting journal to write things down. If students prefer to not write things, they could use their phones to set reminders and to take notes. “Try to avoid a problem arising in the first place. Plan things out and just execute your plan,” Temple University junior Kennedy Catrambone said. If you try to plan things out to the best of your ability, in an organized manner, you might be able to prevent a problem from arising.
Weigh the Pros and Cons
Weighing the pros and cons of every option is a great way to problem solve. Yes, every solution has positive and negative aspects surrounding. In some cases, the pros, outweigh the cons and some choices prove better than others. Some ways to weigh the pros and cons of a situation include asking other people for advice, conducting background research and writing a list. Personally, I know I had to weigh the pros and cons when it came to picking which college to attend. I applied to around twenty colleges and conducted research. I then wrote lists containing the pros and cons of each school I was considering. “The first step is not to panic. Then, keep a calm mind and assess the situation. Next, I look for pros and cons to make the best decision based on that,” SUNY Bighamton University senior Max Kline said. College students can weigh pros and cons by asking what the good, and the bad things are. After all, we all always want the good to outweigh the bad. So why not weigh the pros and cons?
Use Process of Elimination
Another great problem solving skill is using process of elimination to eliminate possible solutions to a problem that might not make sense. Like on an exam where choices might be unfitting for the question, there are answers, or solutions to problems that might not be applicable to the given situation. I know that I have used process of elimination many other times in my life such as when I had to decide what major to stick with in college. I picked out the few majors I felt could be a good fit for me, and used process of elimination to determine which ones weren’t until I ultimately made my choice. “Usually, I think about my options and then eliminate things that I don’t want to do or I feel like aren’t important,” said first year graduate school student at A.T Stillwell University, Marissa Credle. Eliminating solutions based on criteria like personal feelings is a great way to use process of elimination as a problem solving tool. In the end, process of elimination is a great way to approach problems.
Problem Solve Piece by Piece
Sometimes, there will be problems or situations that are more complex, and might be more difficult to find solutions for, or to solve than others. The best way to handle these kind of scenarios is to break it down into different sections, or pieces and try to solve the giant problem through steps. Personally, when I have a complex issue that I have to deal with concerning other people, such as arguments between friends, I try to solve them piece by piece to make sure every party involved is satisfied. “I like to break down the problem, separate it into pieces and take care of it one piece at a time,” SUNY New Paltz sophomore Cody Bostino said. Though this method of problem solving might seem time consuming, it is one of the most effective ways of making sure the entirety of an issue is resolved. When looking at a problem piece by piece, you are more likely to find the best solutions – so channel your inner Nancy Drew and take it step by step.
Dependability is vital to solving problems, especially in a college oriented environment. Those who are dependable typically solve problems and come through with long term solutions benefiting themselves, and all those involved in the end. For example, making sure you are present when need be, effectively paying attention to details and being a team player are ways one can be dependable.These aspects can definitely be worked on and someone can gain dependability. Someone who is dependable always has time to be there for you and if something goes wrong, they will have your back. Think about it this way: would you want a best friend who isn’t dependable? This also applies to bosses, co-workers, classmates etc. Having people who are dependable around you, and being dependable yourself definitely benefits everyone in the realm of problem solving.
Be Open-Minded and Accepting
Open Mindedness and being accepting are two key aspects of coming to terms with whatever life throws at you. When it comes to having an open mind, and accepting others, it is important to make sure you stay at ease and go with the flow. For example, if you are stressed out about an exam, going into it and being able to accept the fact that your life will go on, regardless of the number grade you receive, helps the situation. If you go into the exam feeling anxious and stressed, you are less likely to do well on it. In general, when you are feeling more relaxed rather than stressed, you are more likely to succeed. Looking at all of your problems differently, and embracing an accepting, open mindset will greatly benefit the problem solving process.
Communication is Key
When it comes to problem solving, most problems that come about involve multiple people. One of the best ways to make sure all of the people in a given situation are on the same page is to create an environment that thrives off of communicating. Talking face to face, texting, emailing, talking on the phone or any other form of communication where ideas are shared are acceptable in assuring that nothing is left unsaid. All of these outlets of communication are applicable for situations including a fight with a roommate, a boyfriend, or any other sort of girl drama or boy problems. Like the saying goes, communication is key, and it can prevent and solve any given problem.
Utilize Your School’s Resources
While you’re at college, you will surely come face to face with different problems and situations. However, lots of college students tend to forget that their college has resources for them to utilize. When it comes to academics, college students can contact their academic advisers or professors. When it involves a physical health related issue, students can visit their campus health clinic. Finally, if students are struggling with mental health, they can speak to specialists working at their respective colleges. If you have trouble with something, remember that colleges have resources for you to use, so use them. “Just get things done,” Catrambone said. Whatever the problem is, your college surely has a resource that can help you.
Look to Others for Help
When it comes down to it, you know that your loved ones can always be there for you. Your family and friends provide different insights and perspectives that you probably wouldn’t get if you didn’t ask them. Remember that asking for help is okay, it helps you in the long run. “If I had a problem I would most likely get advice from my parents, or friends,” rising SUNY New Paltz junior Katherine Parente said. When it comes down to it, more insight only helps you get closer to, if not find a solution to your problem. So, why not look to others for help?