How can one learn how to think more efficiently about problems and analyze possible solutions thoroughly?

Back in the early 80's, as a project manager, I have had the wonderful opportunity to learn and acquire the Kepner Tregoe Problem Solving and Decision Making Method, which comprises the following methodologies:

  • Situation-analysis – this clarifies the problem situation (what happened).
  • Problem analysis – here the actual cause of the problem and the relationship between cause and result are searched for (why did it happen).
  • Decision analysis – based on the decision making criteria, choices are made to arrive at potential problem resolutions (how should we act).
  • Potential Problem analysis –here pote

Back in the early 80's, as a project manager, I have had the wonderful opportunity to learn and acquire the Kepner Tregoe Problem Solving and Decision Making Method, which comprises the following methodologies:

  • Situation-analysis – this clarifies the problem situation (what happened).
  • Problem analysis – here the actual cause of the problem and the relationship between cause and result are searched for (why did it happen).
  • Decision analysis – based on the decision making criteria, choices are made to arrive at potential problem resolutions (how should we act).
  • Potential Problem analysis –here potential future problems are anticipated and preventative actions are developed (what will the result be).

You can read more about it here:

Thinking About Problems: Kepner-Tregoe®

To me, in retrospect, this proprietary clear thinking approach has turned out be a very worthwhile investment!

I am not sure this applies in every case but I knew someone who, as a teenager, had trouble concentrating. He was advised to take up the game of Chess, especially Tournament Chess. It must have worked, he is a practicing Dentist today.

Dunno for you - with me it took several years to be that fast - maybe am still slow - because at school i had great answers, when i went home… ha ha ha - too late…

You see - it is a question of inner reaction. When you are paralyzed you cannot answer. You need to penetrate that paralysis.

Means - you might find a faster way than me - maybe as a solution: meditation (Dr. Joe Dispenza) - paired with Theta State Mantras for myself - i.e. reprogramming (Dr. Bruce Lipton).

Today i feel like Time is non-existent. Therefore - my answer forms already when i hear them still talking.

Sure - some might think

Dunno for you - with me it took several years to be that fast - maybe am still slow - because at school i had great answers, when i went home… ha ha ha - too late…

You see - it is a question of inner reaction. When you are paralyzed you cannot answer. You need to penetrate that paralysis.

Means - you might find a faster way than me - maybe as a solution: meditation (Dr. Joe Dispenza) - paired with Theta State Mantras for myself - i.e. reprogramming (Dr. Bruce Lipton).

Today i feel like Time is non-existent. Therefore - my answer forms already when i hear them still talking.

Sure - some might think i am not listening - but i am - i even know their conclusions in advance - yep - today i am with my abilities - i was shy to use them. Years ago i did not even dare to answer, was too late - today i can - because as my BFF said 2 weeks ago: What have you got to lose?

Yep - nothing. THAT is dangerous. When you have got nothing to lose you either become a renegade or you still sit there: paralyzed. Your choice!

ADDENDUM: Please - even though you might be bad and tell bad words: CHOOSE TO BE NICE! Always! That kicks them off twice - because they cannot do anything - YOU HAVE BEEN NICE even with witnesses and you were faster than they thought…

As far as I can handle LIFE!

Thinking a little bit farther than most people can is the ability of one to have a wider perspective. I usually think about a little bit more than other people. That doesn't mean that I overthink in every situation.

As far as thinking is concerned, don't think from just a one point. Place yourself in a situation and think about different ways you can get out of the situation. E.g. Lets say there is a bull in front of you, big as hell, ferocious and ready to attack you, you're standing there infront of the bull with nothing but yourself. You've got many possibilites.

As far as I can handle LIFE!

Thinking a little bit farther than most people can is the ability of one to have a wider perspective. I usually think about a little bit more than other people. That doesn't mean that I overthink in every situation.

As far as thinking is concerned, don't think from just a one point. Place yourself in a situation and think about different ways you can get out of the situation. E.g. Lets say there is a bull in front of you, big as hell, ferocious and ready to attack you, you're standing there infront of the bull with nothing but yourself. You've got many possibilites. These possibilites need not be practical. I'm just giving a perspective to think more than others can do.

Now you've many options, what if;

  1. You go and jump above the bull
  2. You go underneath the bull
  3. You take a walk sideways and go from the side
  4. You don't go past the bull at all, find some other way.
  5. You go back

These are just five illustrations, you can have many more. But the point in trying to make is. You won't be able to think more farther until you have a wide range of perspectives.

Another example,

While playing chess, you think about things like,

  1. What if I move the horse this way
  2. Will it be better if I move the camel intead
  3. But if I'm gonna do as such I'll need to give the Queen a cover.

Hence, having to do thinking from different view points will help a lot. Same is the case in life. You're at a point where you've got a choice to make. You think of different hypothetical choices you can make and you select the best choice which is beneficial not only for you but also for the people around you.

Making a choice after thinking through different perspectives will not make everybody happy around you but most. All in all that's life, if you want to make everybody happy you'll end up unhappy yourself.

Don't be practical when thinking from different perspectives but once done thinking, be very practical while making a choice.

Bringing this type of practice in day to day life will take time but try to develop such kind of thinking aspect and give it some time so that your mind adjusts with it and you'll be making less mistakes in you bussiness, social life, family and relationships.

Regards,

Tirth.

The approach to this is known as Thinking outside the Box.

There are in general two types of thinking process which are:-

  • In box Thinking
  • Out of box Thinking

Out of box Thinking or lateral Thinking refers to that thinking approach when we arrive at a solution of a problem in unconventional ways or look at the problem through an unexpected perspective.

In general out of box Thinking approach does not use any past experiences which are feed up in the memory and arrive at the solution through a completely unusual way and mostly used the presence of mind unlike in-box Thinkers.


Now the important questio

The approach to this is known as Thinking outside the Box.

There are in general two types of thinking process which are:-

  • In box Thinking
  • Out of box Thinking

Out of box Thinking or lateral Thinking refers to that thinking approach when we arrive at a solution of a problem in unconventional ways or look at the problem through an unexpected perspective.

In general out of box Thinking approach does not use any past experiences which are feed up in the memory and arrive at the solution through a completely unusual way and mostly used the presence of mind unlike in-box Thinkers.


Now the important question comes how to practice or how to use out of box Thinking in our day to day life.Yes there are some steps to practice it much effectively and let me explain each of them in detail:-

1] Practicing Silence:-

The first approach is how we take care of our thoughts.On an average a human mind is confined with 60,000 thoughts per day and most of the time the thoughts are repetitive.

The human mind is a nest of thoughts.Out of box Thinking can be achieved by increasing the silence between the thoughts when no brain activity should be there.The more the silence between the thoughts,more is the out of box Thinking.

In a day we all experience a brief period of time when no brain activity is there but the point is that,the period of silence is quite narrow.

So to practice out of box Thinking that period of silence should be increased and that can be increased through proper methodical Meditation and also by inculcating good habits.

2] Proper Use of brain waves at the right time:-

There are in general five types of brain waves prevailing through in our brain at different frequencies.They are Beta,Alpha,Theta,Delta and Gamma Brainwaves.

But the most interesting part is that among them Alpha and Theta are the Brainwaves which support out of box thinking.

Alpha and Theta waves are mostly prevalent at the moment we wake up from the sleep because that was the time when we are fully not a concious state of mind and due to that we can use that state of mind for our own benefit to think some complex problems instead of wasting it.

3] Practicing Aanvikshiki:-

The term might sound new but it was a old traditional approach mentioned in Kautilya's Arthashastra.

Aanvikshiki is nothing but refers to the art of Thinking.Aan refers to Anu which is a small component like atom and Vikshiki refers to right thinking.

It is also referred to as strategic thinking and basically can be followed through three steps which are:-

  • Samkhya
  • Yoga
  • Lokyata

Samkhya means numbers,Yoga refers to connect together and lokyata refers to materialistic success.

4] Coordination between two halves of brain:-

Our human brain can be divided into two halves which is called as Left brain and the Right brain.

The left brain generally deals with Logic and the Right brain deals with Imagination.

Out of box thinking works better when both the halves of brain compromise with each other and stay hand in hand.

The importance of this is that for any given problem to be solved unconventionally we need both logic and imagination and if both shakes hands it will truly do wonders.

5] Presence of mind:-

Unique presence of mind is one of the key factor for out of box Thinking.

Presence of mind doesn't require any past memory and due to that it can arrive at any solution through unexpected ways.

6] Concentration:-

Out of box thinking can also be achieved through increased Concentration.The more concentrated our mind,the lesser are the chances of will get deviated.

And the best way to increase concentration is to train our mind to stay focussed and it is not a one day job,it will come through regular practice and patience.

7] Reading Habits:-

Reading good books feeds our brain with information and knowledge and also helps in broaden the outlook.

The usefulness comes in out of box thinking when we try to look at the things through a different view not because of the knowledge feeded into our brain through books but because while reading it provides a different outlook altogether and now it's the time for its application.

8] Brainstorming Sessions:-

Good and continuous use of brainstorming sessions are a good way to practice out of box Thinking.

FootNotes:-

Anviksiki - Wikipedia

Thinking outside the box - Wikipedia

That's a great question and I'd like to add a point of view.

Mine comes from teaching business owners strategies and topics they know little about and understanding how best to teach them based on how they learn.

Thanks to twenty five years of personal growth and the reading of hundreds of books I'm a strong believer in left brain and right brain functions.

This one subject has been my passion to understand and to use in teaching and learning by understanding the essential subject of context.

Our school systems produce very strong left brain dominant people when they leave school. I read a repo

That's a great question and I'd like to add a point of view.

Mine comes from teaching business owners strategies and topics they know little about and understanding how best to teach them based on how they learn.

Thanks to twenty five years of personal growth and the reading of hundreds of books I'm a strong believer in left brain and right brain functions.

This one subject has been my passion to understand and to use in teaching and learning by understanding the essential subject of context.

Our school systems produce very strong left brain dominant people when they leave school. I read a report on this once that said, '70% of children are right brain dominant before starting school and only 30% are when they finish school (before university).

We live in a left brain dominant world (but that's slowly changing).

The principle of left and right brain thinking is a fantastic first step to understand when it comes to learning.

The best way to teach and to learn is to use both sides of the brain not just one as most school teaching does.

Let me explain with an example...

How do you put a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle together, where do you start?

Obviously by the corners and then the sides.

A simple way of categorising that way of learning and problem solving is to call that WHAT and WHY.

Whenever you go about a new task, or learning something new, try to begin like you do with a jigsaw with a What question, "What are you aiming to achieve, what is the outcome going to be?"

Always ask these two questions to yourself or your teacher.

Next ask "Why is that important to achieve that outcome?"

A good teacher will happily answer that question however a lot won't.

This is what I consider to be absolutely essential in teaching, yet so few people understand this principle.

Our society deals in HOW and that's left brain thinking.

That would be like taking the jigsaw puzzle up to someone and telling them how two pieces of the jigsaw puzzle go together, then how another one joins on and keep showing them how one piece has to connect to another for there to be a perfect match, but never showing them the picture on the box of the outcome, or that there are corners and sides.

Can you see how simple it is to learn with a context or outcome based on knowing what you are going to end up with or achieve and why?

All learning is based on connecting something new with something you already know.

It's where context gives meaning to content. The edge of the jigsaw and whole picture are the context and from that you understand where each coloured section of the jigsaw pieces go.

Confusion is common when we're expected to remember a string of data with no relevance.

A 6 or 10 digit password is hard to remember but if you give it some context where part of a password is a name of someone followed by your favourite number then it's easy to remember.

Creating your own context, if none is given by your teacher, can accelerate your learning and retention rates.

Right brain dominant people like entrepreneurs tend to have their brains wired to "What" and "Why" and they see opportunities constantly because they ask these questions.

Asking them yourself when learning will increase your retention greatly and memory assists a lot in learning.

Something I've done that maybe effective to you:

  1. When I say stop procrastinating, it doesn't mean stop screwing around completely. Messing around and being bored sometimes is effective to learning what is what.
  2. You can plan for a million years, but you will Never be successful until you just simply make mistakes and apply. Embrace discomfort. But don't let it consume you.
  3. Problems will come and come until you lose your fucking mind. Just remember that if you want to change the world, change the world around you first. The world can get cleaner or dirtier as you do so to your world.
  4. People can make

Something I've done that maybe effective to you:

  1. When I say stop procrastinating, it doesn't mean stop screwing around completely. Messing around and being bored sometimes is effective to learning what is what.
  2. You can plan for a million years, but you will Never be successful until you just simply make mistakes and apply. Embrace discomfort. But don't let it consume you.
  3. Problems will come and come until you lose your fucking mind. Just remember that if you want to change the world, change the world around you first. The world can get cleaner or dirtier as you do so to your world.
  4. People can make or break you, so simply just understand them. Do not listen to one person 100% of the time. Not even me. Please. Just understand my perspective and yours. Then finalize the motions as needed but STAY POSITIVE.
  5. Your only enemy to solving a problem is time. You and everyone else can fix problems over and over again, but there is a finite amount of time. Ignore useless shit and apply and solve useful problems.
  6. YOLO . You only live once. Remember that life is all about fucking up. If you never failed, you failed at life.
  7. PROBLEMS WILL ALWAYS BE PRESENT. With that in mind, just remember that everyone is suffering from problems in one way to another.
  8. Keep your head open. Being open minded can actually hurt you in short-term, but in the long-term, it will actually make you ACTUALLY THINK. By seeing the other perspectives.
  9. Speak less, Do More. This is pretty simple… we all need to do this honestly, positively.
  10. Just remember if you can do things and help people without losing your sanity, you're a strong and able person. Just Do. Not. Lose. Yourself. Merely adapt with love and passion because who cares if you're smart if you are an asshole?

Love always wins. Long term.

Give an upvote if you agree Haha!

To answer this question, you can learn to think and solve problems faster by developing frameworks. Frameworks give you structure, allowing you solve problems with a basis rather than boiling the ocean for clues.

Cognitive Frameworks:

Develop a set of cognitive frameworks that allow you to efficiently and effectively process, categorize, and analyze information. One example is the decision framework or decision matrix. The simplest version of a decision framework is the pro vs. con list.

Another example: Management consultants and other business professionals use frameworks to analyze and solve p

To answer this question, you can learn to think and solve problems faster by developing frameworks. Frameworks give you structure, allowing you solve problems with a basis rather than boiling the ocean for clues.

Cognitive Frameworks:

Develop a set of cognitive frameworks that allow you to efficiently and effectively process, categorize, and analyze information. One example is the decision framework or decision matrix. The simplest version of a decision framework is the pro vs. con list.

Another example: Management consultants and other business professionals use frameworks to analyze and solve problems daily. Suppose a client asks an elevator question around market entry problems. One can, for example, apply a SWOT framework to quickly think through the strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O), and threats (T) to market entry, creating a coherent and cohesive recommendation rather than randomly slicing and dicing.

In summary, cognitive frameworks help you to efficiently identify where to look for solutions to problems, and clearly dissect the situation in terms of what to prioritize.

Memory Frameworks:

For problem solving reliant on knowledge or information, developing a set of prior memory frameworks may help. The human brain reacts to various stimuli, and relies on different synapses to retrieve, process, and examine information. In short, develop memory frameworks that allows you to quickly retrieve knowledge and information.

One example of a memory framework is a vivid picture of the house you grew up in. As you walk through the house in your mind’s eye, you store lists of information, associating each concept or data point with a vivid picture of an item in the house. When you need to quickly retrieve the knowledge needed to solve a particular problem, just walk through the “house” and the conceits or ideas come back to you vividly.

These memory framework may take a little bit if effort in the beginning to construct, but once constructed, they can speed up your information retrieval abilities, allowing you to solve problems faster.

Algorithmic thinking isn't easy and definitely not for everyone.
Here by everyone I mean everyone who do not have their data-structures and algorithms basic concepts clear.

A lot of interview problems revolve around innovative use of the data-structures or combination of two or more of them.
1.) So invest time in data-structures and learn about their properties and limitations and how to overcome them. For example :
A hash-map with a single key scheme will give you a uniform time lookup, but say what about you need a look up based on more than one type of key.
Be comfortable with using vario

Algorithmic thinking isn't easy and definitely not for everyone.
Here by everyone I mean everyone who do not have their data-structures and algorithms basic concepts clear.

A lot of interview problems revolve around innovative use of the data-structures or combination of two or more of them.
1.) So invest time in data-structures and learn about their properties and limitations and how to overcome them. For example :
A hash-map with a single key scheme will give you a uniform time lookup, but say what about you need a look up based on more than one type of key.
Be comfortable with using various data-structure in all type of coding situations

2.) Learn simple/basic algorithms and be comfortable with them so that you can use them in different capacity.

3.) Practice on simpler problems and use the experience and confidence to solve bigger problems.

Coming back to the question of attacking a problem. To think for an algorithmic solution for a problem you need to strategise.
A possible strategy can be :

1.) Break it into simpler familiar problems.
2.) Solve each of them and try to connect.
3.) Think about each part in detail and come up with pseudo code.
4.) Think about boundary conditions and exceptional program behaviour.

To get more insight into the world of problem solving, you can explore courses like algorithm design as in here :

https://www.coursera.org/course/algo

You really can't think and learn real fast.

Remember, Sherlock is just a TV series full of extreme exaggeration. I am an ardent fan of Sherlock, the character as portrayed in book, and I find the the portrayal on TV in a very bad taste.

Coming back to the question of thinking and learning fast, don't expect yourself to solve a puzzle 'that you have never seen'. If you search for Peter Norvig's blog you'll see that he says it takes atleast 10,000 hours of practice/experience to master something. Given such a gigantic number, I don't think you should attempt to solve puzzles or do anything that ge

You really can't think and learn real fast.

Remember, Sherlock is just a TV series full of extreme exaggeration. I am an ardent fan of Sherlock, the character as portrayed in book, and I find the the portrayal on TV in a very bad taste.

Coming back to the question of thinking and learning fast, don't expect yourself to solve a puzzle 'that you have never seen'. If you search for Peter Norvig's blog you'll see that he says it takes atleast 10,000 hours of practice/experience to master something. Given such a gigantic number, I don't think you should attempt to solve puzzles or do anything that gets in your 10 thousand hours. Learning and thinking is considered an art, which might not come naturally to everybody, but I disagree, though, naturally endowed intellect cannot be completely recreated, emulation of it is largely possible. You can know yourself better, define your goals, decide upon a strategy, get disciplined and work hard, this is the only way to go.

Watch and learn. Find a mentor, or someone who have more experience on problem solving. Work on some hard problems together. Observe how they approach the problems in many aspects. Identify skills that you lack and practice deliberately on that.

Learn to think slowly. Yes, think slowly can also solve problems faster. This is especially true when the problem at hand requires creativity, and thinking outside the box. One way to think slowly is to free your mind after a heavily thoughtful session on your problem. Your background mind will work subconsciously. (see Focused vs. Diffused Mode)

You have to practice problem-solving with a form of the problems and statements. This means you have a limited number of formulae, possible methods, and evaluations of the solution. This narrows an open-ended search for methods to solve the problem, into focusing upon the set you will draw upon and applying the right method in case. This will usually severely limit what problems and statements you can take on, and the interpretation of your solutions. You can model any word problem or passage as a problem, prompt to analyze and comprehend, and then to formulate the proper response. That is usu

You have to practice problem-solving with a form of the problems and statements. This means you have a limited number of formulae, possible methods, and evaluations of the solution. This narrows an open-ended search for methods to solve the problem, into focusing upon the set you will draw upon and applying the right method in case. This will usually severely limit what problems and statements you can take on, and the interpretation of your solutions. You can model any word problem or passage as a problem, prompt to analyze and comprehend, and then to formulate the proper response. That is usually another passage or body of words that shows you have recognized the prompt, can provide some reasoning, and then work toward solutions that are mutual. In this way, how we use words in restricted settings, limited contexts, and policy governed areas is not as expressive as our language is capable of. We have a specific set of terms we can discuss, that represent social and actual actions, and what is possible to perform within that scope.