Usually when we face a problem, we do it directly, mostly because during our working activities, we just have the possibility to allocate a small portion of time, to the many needs in front of us. In that time we have to address the problem, solve it and then switch to the following one. This is the mentality that we have been groomed into and that on the long-term would create stress and inefficiency.
Usually, when we face a problem and solve it, we tend to gain experience, but the real issue is when the problem appears again… and again… giving us the clear insight that there is something wrong along the process before us, a problem that is a double damage: first because we lose time solving the problem, second because we don’t gain any further experience.
The short time horizon that we address, forbids us the possibility to find a one-for-all solution that could prevent us any further loss of time, energy and productivity. For this reason we can start changing this paradigm, by acting not on the problem, but on the cause of the problem, so to prevent from happening.
This simple as interesting idea is explained perfectly on the video posted above, where Dr. Rishi Manchanda focus his message on how we should identify the cause of the problem (or of the illness on his case) so to find the cure and not the solution. This approach can be very useful also inside a company environment.
Personally I have changed my approach, and now I tend to identify what generates (or could generate) the problem upfront, and this helped me to become more productive, work smarter and use my time and energies on what really matters. To make things easier, I have represented the flow in the image above, and the steps are:
- Approach the problem
- Understanding if this is a “blocker” or not (if YES! you have to patch it asap)
- Identify if that is a one time issue or if it could be a repetitive one
- Understanding the cause and the origin of the problem (as the stakeholders)
- Developing and implementing a solution
- Reignite the activity with the new workflow
- If the problem is not solved, restart from number 4
Want some practical examples? Sure! Here are some:
- Creating templates for emails for my internal (and external) client, so to be sure not to forget info than may be needed, and by making the communication essential and easy to read, so it can be processed quickly
- Building mockups for specific campaigns, so to have less chances to receive fallback email, requesting more info or clarifications, that I need time to elaborate, write and send
So let’s face the source of the problem to find a long-term solution rather than placing a simple patch.