Chuck Frey over at Creativity For Life has some tips to increase your effectiveness on personal problem-solving skills. Think about there is a time you are solving a problem, and the challenge is too big that you want to give up. How should you tackle it? Chuck suggested two steps: State your problem clearly, and then brainstorm solutions. The main message from him is to write everything that you can think of – do not censor yourself with ideas first – some ideas that may not come clear or impossible at that point of time does not mean it cannot be improved:
… As you review your problem statement and supporting information, write down any ideas that occur to you. Don’t censor yourself at this point; there will be plenty of time to evaluate your ideas later. Write down every idea, no matter how far-fetched. Your goal at this stage of the personal ideation process is to generate a large quantity of ideas.
Ask yourself: How would a person who is an expert in this area solve this problem? You might want to try this exercise using famous people from history, creative thinkers such as Albert Einstein, or other leaders and innovators that you respect. Your goal for this exercise is to perform a bit of “slight of head” — to whack your thinking into a different frame of reference to generate fresh ideas and insights.
Divide your problem into its component pieces and write each of them down — perhaps in a mind map or outline that shows the relationships between each element. Then, try brainstorming ideas for each one. This “slice and dice” technique often works well when you’re faced with complex or multi-dimensional challenges…
Tips For Personal Brainstorming – [Creativity For Life]