Are you busy or time poor but need to make a decision? Stuck for a way through a problem? Overwhelmed by the complexity of a situation you need to deal with?

You know the value of creating space in your diary to think.  You also know that thinking time can be difficult to get. So, when you do get it what are you doing to maximize that time? How do you accelerate your thinking process so you nail the decision, find a solution and can articulate your plan to the people you need to influence?

We don’t know what we don’t know so trying to brainstorm will have limitations. To accelerate our thinking we need a process that works with what we know and exposes us to new ideas or “aha” moments.

Try this next time you have some thinking time:

  1. Write your objective at the top of an A4 page.
  2. Draw a line down the middle of the page.
  3. On the left hand side write down all the obstacles that prevent your goal from existing.
  4. Go through your list of obstacles and write down options to remove each obstacle.  Think really blue sky with this and write down as many options as possible for each obstacle.  Start each option with “I have …” as if you had had already achieved it.  Write the in on the right hand side of the page.
  5. Transfer each option statement on a separate post it note.
  6. Spread them on a table and put them in order of pre-requisite.
  7. Keeping the post it’s in pre-requisite order refine your solution by summarising like ones.

Your robust and well thought out plan will begin to emerge.

As you bring these options into existence one by one the obstacles will be eliminated, your momentum will accelerate and your goal, or something better, will have no choice but to exist.

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