Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Resource and obstacle card

Some times when looking at the problems of life I start to feel overwhelmed. It fells as if there is no clear solution when this happens. I do have a tool I use in this situation: Resource and obstacle cards. These are a great way to get a handle on the problem. The cards are easy to make and the process helps to calm me down and focus my energy on the problem at hand.

I start by making a list of the resources I have for dealing with the situation. I jot down every little thing that I can think of that will help me. Once that is done I start on a list of obstacles that must be overcome. Now I go back to the first list and start to categorize my resources making a new list were each category has its own color. Categories vary widely from problem to problem but some examples from situations past are time (resources that take up my time to use) money (things I could buy to help with the problem) and people (friends or family who have offered to help out with whatever is going on).

All the prep starts me thinking about what I have to work with and what I need to overcome. With my mind focused and ready to create a solution I begin the next step: cutting up my lists. Each color coded resources and obstacles are placed on the table. I can now begin to move them around, seeing how they may relate to one another. I jot down any interesting combinations that arise and keep going.

Now with a list of possible solutions I begin to think through each one and see which makes the most sense to me. Is it practical, is it realistic and how much of each plan I can do without having to burden others. Then I start to take the steps to put the plan in to action.

While I do not resort to this very often it is a physical model of my thought process when trying to solve a problem. When I find myself stuck on where to begin this definitely helps me focus and find a bit of firm ground on which to stand. What do you do when you feel there is notsolution for the problem at hand? Let me know in the comments and have a great day.


Anonymous said...

Wow! And you talk about not being organized. This is way more organization then I could ever bring to my problems. I'm impressed.

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