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5 Steps to Systematic Thinking

Aug 17, 2007
Systematic thinking is a way of life for those who excel in their lives and professions. Regardless of their independent professions with subtle differences, they all think very much alike.

Although a discussion about systematic thinking is very much relevant to our discussion, we will focus on how everyone can cultivate the habit of thinking systematically. But first, a brief synopsis on the steps of systematic thinking is in order.

Steps In Systematic Thinking

Very briefly, here are the steps in systematic thinking:

1. Identify and analyze the problem before jumping into action
2. Formulate multiple options
3. Define and establish a selection criteria
4. Be bold and make a final decision

Since the objective of this article is to help develop systematic thinking, the following 5 steps are focused on it.

5 Steps To Systematic Thinking

Thinking systematically is a never-ending process and it can begin at any age. But starting early is all the more better for obvious reasons.

1. Set The Bar High: With each hurdle crossed you can begin to think in small steps in order to pave the way to your bigger goal.

2. Give Thought Its Due Time: Short thoughts may generate wonderful solutions, but not always. With business and life problems getting more and more complex as you move further down the road, looking for the quick way out can be a grave mistake. Hard, long thinking about problems can open avenues to helpful information.

3. Defy The Myths: Complex problems sometimes call for radical thinking. Dare to defy the myths. Galileo uprooted the natural belief that earth was not round. Going around the earth wouldn't have revealed to Galileo that the earth is round. Instead, he chose to think in radical ways. Throughout history, those who have failed to challenge the status quo have often been proven wrong.

4. Channelize Your Thoughts: Documenting and recording your thoughts helps to put things in perspective and saves them for future examination. Many ideas and thoughts cross everyone's mind every day. Even the impractical thoughts deserve to be examined before discarding them. Thomas Edison took several years to develop that light bulb, trying out various options - but he never forgot to record each one of his steps, including failures, which ultimately prevented him from duplicating his efforts.

5. Work Within A Time Frame: Give yourself a specific timeframe within to solve a specific problem. Otherwise, you may never come to the end.

Systematic thinking allows you to solve problems by coming to practical, workable solutions, whether in business or in life. Following the above steps will give you the tools you need for your thinking and problem solving to be more efficient and effective.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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