Stuck in a rut

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I can remember many times in which I have fallen victim to one or more of the obstacles in problem solving. I have taken many math classes in my life, and the higher in calculus you go, the more creative you must be in order to solve problems. This was my biggest pitfall. I would think of a solution to a problem and when it didn't work, I would often make the same mistakes because I was set on that being the type of solution to the problem. The best solution I had to this was to move on in my homework and come back to it later, hopefully with a new perspective on the problem.

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This can apply to real life problems too, not just math. I would sometimes think of a solution to a real world problem for a social studies class and would not be able to think outside that type of solution. An example of this would be that, theoretically, I believe that the solution to our country's debt is to increase taxes. When I start to realize this wouldn't always work, I am unable to come up with another solution because I keep thinking of taxes, when in reality, cutting spending would help too.

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What are you some other strategies from getting out of the problem solving "rut"?


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Problem solving is all about teamwork and being open minded. Yes, you wont always have another person to brainstorm with but collaborating will always spark new ideas to help someone think differently about a problem. Your parnter may not know the exact solution, but might trigger something you haven't thought about before to help solve it as well. That is why our government is not a dictatorship! Teamwork!

The way I've felt with problem solving ruts is persistence. No matter what it is I'm trying to solve, if i think about it long enough I can solve it. But some of this problem solving relies on taking risks. A lot of dynamic thinking and problem solving requires risks to complete. Look at every business up start. Every business starts with taking a risk, from Apple to Enron. It's the confidence in your own abilities that helps you take these risks.

I also think that teamwork and collaboration is important for problem solving. When someone tries to solve a problem, it is hard to take care of all the aspects of the problem. Thus, someone could be likely to be biased. However, collaboration might help to decrease the biases because different people could bring different perspectives in order to solve the problem. Therefore, the teamwork and collaboration is important for problem solving.

GEtting out of a rut can sometimes be a difficult thing but can also be rewarding when you get out of it. I think we fall victim a lot of the time to getting stuck in ruts when working on difficult homework problems, especially in the math and sciences. Creative techniques must be used in order to get around these problems. These techniques must be tailored to the individual I believe in order for them to work the best. Then we can all get out of those crappy ruts and keep going strong.

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This page contains a single entry by Kody Kolb published on May 1, 2012 8:15 PM.

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