Here's How to Solve Every Problem in 5 Steps
All of us have some problem if not more of them. Some are easy to handle, whereas some others require time, patience, money, nerves and so on. There is, however, a universal 5-step problem solving methodology that could help you add some structure to your problem solving endeavors.
Step 1: Define the problem
What is the problem? Write it down if you have to. What appears to be the problem doesn't have to be a problem at all. Think it through. Before solving any problem, you need to know what's it all about.
Step 2: What's the plan?
Now that you *really* know what is the problem, what's your plan to solve it? Try coming up with more than a single solution. Actually, it's essential to have alternatives.
Step 3: Analyze all options
Go through the alternatives defined in the step 2 and think what would happen if you pick one solution over the other. Would you really break something? What about that other solution? Are there any other options?
Step 4: Pick the solution and try it out!
Presuming you went through all options, you will be in the middle of implementation of your fix. One thing to notice here - once you've picked your solution, kill the alternatives. Don't look back - you've been thinking about it already. Go with the one solution that you think will work the best.
Step 5: Review
Still alive? How did that go? Have you learned something new? If something didn't work as planned, see if you can implement some other solution. Now may be the time to try something else if that's possible. If it isn't - well, that's just the way life is. We all make our choices.
It doesn't have to be that hard, you (all of us) just need some structure...