The Art of Problem-Solving

What Not to Do

I used to take the “go one hundred miles an hour” approach to problem-solving, which is often accompanied by that “spinning your wheels” feeling.

A Better Way

I’ve since changed tactics.

  • Given — what details are provided?
  • Constraints — what restrictions are there?

Active Thinking

That’s just a start. The thinking process continues with other tactics, like making a sketch of what I’m trying to do or solve for. This makes the abstract concrete, and therefore much easier to think about.

Is It Worth It?

“But that seems like a lot of time!” you may say.

What’s Art Got to Do with It?

The process reminds me of the many times I’ve stood in front of a piece of artwork and my initial thought is, “I have no idea what’s going on.” (I admit, this is sometimes my first reaction to some of the problems I solve.)

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