Beyond the obvious

No matter how well you plan your project, there will be times when things go wrong. How you react to these unexpected problems is possibly the most important determining factor in your success.

If at first you don’t succeed, it is not enough to simply try and try again; there has to be some adaptation to your approach before you can expect different results.

Sometimes the mistake is obvious, and you can adapt quickly and throw yourself back into the work. Other times there may be no obvious mistake or solution, in which case blind determination may be counter-productive.

Take time to think

Take some time to think. This may be difficult to do when you are under pressure to produce, but it is essential to slow down and think before taking action.

It may be tempting to check email, it may be tempting to work on something else, but these are just ways of avoiding the situation. Give yourself the opportunity to find a solution by spending a little more time with the problem.

The second option

When you take time to think, maybe a possible solution will occur to you quite quickly and you go back to work immediately…

But this solution may be only one of many possibilities. By rushing to implement the first solution that comes to mind, you are excluding other, possibly better, courses of action.

What if there is a second option, or a third? It is worth taking a little longer, even just 20 minutes, to go beyond the obvious, in order to find these alternatives before deciding on a course of action.

4 thoughts on “Beyond the obvious”

  1. I agree. being there , did it n realised it did not work. so now more of waiting a bit n let all the ideas played in my head sometimes overnight but it is worth it. so tq for confirming that sometimes we just hv to wait for awhile.luvs all yr posting , it gives me some sense of wht i m doing. tq

  2. Thanks James for your post on “Going beyond the obvious” good information contained in there. However, sometimes it may cause unnecessary delays on the side of young scholars and researchers like myself,if you have to wait for the right and bright ideas to come to mind. What I have personally been doing is to write down whatever comes to my mind and then sieve the same information later. Quite often some ideas are dropped, others are maintained, while others are maintained after being improved on. Do you think am taking a right approach.

    • You don’t have to wait for the right idea- often you don’t know whether an idea is right or not until you try it (or test its viability on a small scale).

      The point is that if you rush into the first idea all the time then you will never think of anything creative.

  3. Hi, Thanks a lot for these precious advises. I have a big problem with this step.
    My phD thesis dels with a lot of fields, am usually pressed by time, I have to go fast and to be productive! But it’s really hard, I can’t read a lot and am finding myself doing a scholar work, repeating things that other did and without adding anything new, without creativity! Besides that, am usually late because of the huge work that I have to do! Can you help me please, I am so stressed

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