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Three Tips for Better Problem Solving

Three Tips for Better Problem Solving

Tip 1: Problem-A-Day, aka PAD.

What. Everyday work one problem to completion. Not just every weekday, or school day. EVERYDAY. This includes your Saturdays and Sundays. Summers too. It's ok to choose a problem that you find rather easy. Just make sure you aren't doing the same type of problem each day. Mix it up a lot. The more variety the better.

When. Preferably just after waking up or just before going to sleep. This will help you make PAD part of your daily routine. Attaching it to your sleep schedule (you do sleep daily right?) is a way to adopt the habit quickly. Not a morning person? Do it just before you head to bed. I've done some of my best work just before falling asleep.

How. If possible, keep a digital record of your completed problems. After scanning, taking a photo of the paper, or writing the solution on your computer, save the files in a separate folder on your desktop. Make sure it's noticeable, that way you are given a visual reminder to complete your PAD problem each and every day.

Extra. Record a video of yourself completing the problem. This is an excellent way to really improve your overall confidence using the techniques you've learned. Narrate the solution as if you were teaching a ghost in the room. Answer questions a ghost listener might ask. This will add an engaging quality to your videos, making the finished product more valuable, both to you and any future viewers.

Thanks for reading! Look for the next post, where I'll outline Tip 2: Parallel Solutions.