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Solving complex problems - from stuck to Aha!

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

Complex problems often require simple solutions. But the multi-dimensional nature of tricky problems means our brains become bombarded with information which we struggle to process effectively.

The trick to creating simplicity from complexity is to distract our busy minds so that we can focus on the core elements of the challenge. For me, I’m most likely to solve complex issues while I’m running. If running isn’t your thing, you can still follow the process below, but think of another activity that you can do relatively habitually.

Give this a try

1. Think about a challenge or problem that you’re struggling to solve. 💡

2. Get into action (i.e. head out on your run) 💪

3. Hold the challenge in your mind but don’t concentrate too hard on it. Let your brain focus on the habitual action (i.e. running) and let your mind wander. Occasionally bring the challenge back into your consciousness 🧠

4. Wait for the ‘a-ha’ moments. 🌟 Your brain is partly occupied by processing the habitual actions (i.e. keeping you breathing/moving forward/upright), so it will have less capacity to create complex solutions. I usually find that when I’m running, not only are the solutions simpler, but they are much more creative too. It’s like a fog clears, and I can see clearly what’s most important within the mess of competing information.

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