A thought to start the week: “focus on the useful problems”.
Focus on the Useful Problems
Think of a current piece of work that has its obstacles and issues. And now ask yourself: are we solving the most useful problems – or just the most interesting problems?
A potential thinking trap of problem solving is that every solution comes with a little rush of the neurotransmitter dopamine. And so it feels good to solve a problem – even a problem unhelpful in reaching the overall objective.
From here, we can end-up solving a host of interesting problems, as opposed to useful problems. And all the while, exhausting finite resources needed to solve the still-outstanding core problem.
What’s needed here instead is a focus on the right problems. To catch a “wrong-problem” train of thought early and redirect it to the path that is most helpful in solving our problem.
So let’s do this when faced with a problem this week. Start by zeroing-in on the goal. What do we want to achieve? And from there, ask what are the most useful problems to solve that will achieve that objective?