The ability to solve problems in a creative way is one that everybody should have. The fact that you don’t find it easy to come up with creative problem solving solutions doesn’t mean that you can’t train this skill. Creative problem solving is something you learn, not something you’re born with, which is great news for people who want to get this skill. In today’s guide, we’re going to provide 3 creative problem solving activities that you can do in order to learn how to solve problems more creatively.
3 Creative Problem Solving Activities to Try Out
The name of this activity might sound strange, but you’re going to understand it in a moment, once we explain what it entails. Oftentimes, the main obstacle people stumble upon when trying to find a creative solution to a problem is that they complicate the problem too much. For instance, the more words you use to describe the problem, the more complicated it will sound. As a result, the more time you’ll spend trying to solve it.
This activity urges people to first explain the problem they have in 40 words. Then, try to reduce the words to only 20, followed by 10, and then 5. You’ll see that when you’re forced to only choose 5 words to explain your problem, you’ll use the most relevant ones. This will tell you the essence of the problem and get you closer to its solution. An example would be going from “I have to do my best in order to finish this report” to “Finish this report”.
2. End in Mind
Even though we’re tempted to start at the beginning when dealing with an issue, this may be the wrong approach. Have you ever considered starting at the end? More precisely, having the end in mind and working backwards from it. Some problems need a plan in order to be solved. If this is the case with the problem you’re facing, create the plan focusing on the end first.
For instance, take a note of the deadlines in reverse, starting with the one when you will have already solved the problem. You should also establish the key milestones the other way around, starting with the final goal you’re trying to reach.
One of the most creative ways in which you can solve problems is to turn them into a game. Games tend to motivate people more, because they’re fun and they represent an interactive and innovative challenge. In order to turn your problem into a game, you should come up with a few rules for how you’re going to earn points. Then, whenever you hit a milestone, award yourself with a badge. You’ll see that in time, you’ll be eager to collect more badges. In turn, this will motivate you to work on your problem faster and more enthusiastically.
Make sure to track the game and make the rewards realistic. Also, increase the rewards as you go along. That way, you’ll feel as if you’re advancing toward something big, which is the solution to your problem.
Whenever you want to improve your creative problem solving skills, go back to these 3 activities and try to implement them into your day-to-day work.