Why Resorting Back to Basics Can Be Super Helpful
Sometimes answers can be hard to come by. Sometimes there isn’t always a black or white answer to a problem. Sometimes it’s hard to get started on certain tasks, because you can’t decide what angle to attack them from. Sometimes, the best solution is to go back to basics. I’m talking about the Five W’s: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Yes, I know that’s Five W’s and an H, but five W’s sounds much better.
Lay Out All the Constraints
First off, we want to get the main points on paper, by setting up all the constraints. I write down those six words that I learned somewhere in high school and then I write a one word/phrase answer for each of them. This allows your brain to see what you’re working with. It helps you determine what your direction for this task should be. You need to know your audience and your goal and what you want to accomplish, because if you don’t figure those things out your brain can’t logically think in a structured manner.
Once you have your constraints in place you can think critically and creatively at the same time. For each of the six responses you answered previously, write down what you want to do and achieve, as detailed as possible. Don’t skip anything, get all the thoughts out of your head and onto paper. In this step write too much if possible, you can always delete anything that’s unimportant. The main goal here is to think about everything, as thoroughly as possible. Think about coming at your ideas from every angle and everybody they could touch and how that would affect them.
Draft the Path to Success
After you finish detailing everything you want to accomplish, you need to figure out how you’re going to achieve it. The final step is to put together all the pieces of the puzzle and figure out what you need to do and who you want do it for and why. Make a short but concise list of all the steps of the process that you need to accomplish to achieve your goal.
Sometimes we get too confused with the details and the bigger picture. It may be necessary to shrink the information into more manageable chunks. It may also be easier to create small short-term goals and tasks instead of thinking about the big picture and becoming overwhelmed. Sometimes it just helps to go back to basics, because some tools that we’ve learned work, and if it’s not broke don’t fix it! That’s why whenever I get stuck I always go back to the Five W’s.