How to solve a problem six step solution

Planning for Problem Solving: 6 Steps to Solve a Problem 

Problem solving is a technique and, the earlier we accept it, the more time we can save to invest in other valuable parts of life. But how? Simple, use planning to solve any problem.

And how do I do that exactly? Yes, that’s what I want to share with you through this blog post. I have found six simple steps to reach a clear conclusion.

So the plan is to follow these six steps, from the moment of facing a problem till the last moment.

Overview of plan for solving a problem

  • Step1: What is the problem? Define & get a CLEAR answer.
  • Step2: Why does the problem exist? Find the cause of it.
  • Step3: Write down rough solutions, they can be more than one.
  • Step4: Decide the best solution to act on.
  • Step5: Make a plan (steps) to execute that solution smoothly.
  • Step6: Now act on it

If that solution doesn’t work, go with the next possible solution.

Before we discuss them in brief, let’s consider an example.

Good book to read: The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday 

Six steps to solve any problem

How to solve a problem six step formula
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Step1: Identify problem

When faced with a problem, the first step is to define it and gain a clear understanding of what needs to be addressed.

This step is not about finding the cause of the problem, first check whether it’s actually a problem or just a minor obstacle, which can be passed without much mental effort. 

To identify a problem, look at if you are stressed or anxious. If you are, something has to be changed.

Step2: Find the root cause

“To truly solve a problem, we must first uncover the ‘why’ behind it.”

John Maxwell

Understanding the cause of the problem is vital as it helps us gain clarity on the factors that are contributing to the issue. It enables us to identify any patterns, trends, or correlations that may be driving the problem. 

When we uncover the root cause, we can avoid superficial solutions that only provide temporary fixes and instead implement long-term solutions that address the underlying issues. And that’s what we want to avoid, temporary fixes!!

Moreover, identifying the cause of a problem helps you prevent the same issue from arising in the future. 

For eg. The root cause of frequent arguments in a relationship can be lack of communication and misunderstandings.

Step3: Generate solutions

Once you have identified the problem and understood its root cause, it’s time to brainstorm potential solutions. 

In this step you need to view all the possible solutions and jot them down, it’s a rough version. Avoid filtering or evaluating the solutions at this stage, as it can limit creativity and hinder the generation of innovative solutions.

Write down all the possible solutions that come to your mind, no matter how simple or complex they may be. Don’t worry about organizing or prioritizing them at this point. The goal is to generate as many ideas as possible and capture them in writing for future reference.

You can refine and evaluate them in the next steps, so don’t worry about perfection at this stage. Just be clear and to the point while noting down the rough solutions, as it will set the foundation for the next steps in the problem-solving process.

Recommended Read: Thinking, Fast and Slow

Step4: Select a solution

Now that you’ve got a bunch of potential solutions on the table, it’s time to pick the best one to tackle the problem head-on. 

How to select a solution?

Take a closer look at each solution and evaluate their feasibility, effectiveness, and potential impact. 

Consider factors such as resources needed, timeline, and potential risks or drawbacks.

Watch the long-term implications of each solution and how they align with your overall goals and values. Think about which solution is most practical, achievable, and aligns with the desired outcome of solving the problem. Trust your instincts and use your logical reasoning skills to make an informed decision.

Step5: Plan and Implement Solution

Next you have to make a plan, so that you can put it into action. Break down the solution into smaller, manageable steps that will help you execute it smoothly and efficiently.

Where to start planning?

Start by outlining the key tasks or actions that need to be taken to implement the solution. Think about the resources, time, and effort required for each step. Consider any potential challenges or obstacles that may arise and plan for contingencies.

Organize the steps in a logical and sequential manner, creating a roadmap that outlines the order and timeline for each task. Be realistic and practical in your planning, taking into account your available resources, timeline, and other commitments.

Ensure that your plan is clear, actionable, and achievable. Avoid vague or ambiguous steps that may lead to confusion or delays. 

Be specific about who will be responsible for each task and establish deadlines for completion.

It will help you execute the last step efficiently. However, in some cases plans can be changed.

Step6: Execute solution

Congratulations, you’ve reached the final step in the problem-solving process! Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves, take action, and bring your plan to life. It will be the hardest step but you have potential.

Remember, this is the step where you turn your ideas into tangible results. It’s important to be proactive and take decisive action. Don’t hesitate or procrastinate, but instead, move forward with confidence and determination.

Stay flexible and adaptable as you execute your plan. Be willing to make adjustments and pivot as needed based on feedback and results. Keep track of your progress and celebrate small wins to stay motivated.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it. Take action, be proactive, and shape your desired outcome.”

Peter Drucker

Consider this example I shared below for the problem of procrastination.

Six step problem solving example 

Here’s an example to find a solution to the problem of procrastination.

Identify Problem: You often procrastinate when starting an important task. 

Find root cause: You lack motivation or find the task too challenging. 

Generate Solutions: Break the task down into smaller steps and set attainable goals, focus on completing the task rather than the results, enlist the help of others, create a reward system for finishing the task, remove any distractions. 

Select Solution: Breaking the task down into smaller steps and creating a reward system. 

Plan and Implement Solution: Set aside a specific amount of time each day to work on the task, set a target number of steps to complete each day, create a reward for yourself for reaching that goal. 

Act on Solution: Stay motivated and keep working at it; stick to your plan, and the results will start to show soon.


Following these six steps, you can make the most out of any situation. Be optimistic and go for it.

You’ve got the skills and determination to overcome any obstacle and achieve a successful outcome. 

Keep pushing forward, and before you know it, you’ll have successfully resolved the problem and achieved your desired outcome. So, go ahead, take action, and make it happen!

All the best, good day’🧘‍♀️🌟

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