# Ways to Tackle a Problem

If a problem seems familiar, try reasoning by Analogy.  If you solved a similar one in the past, and can adapt to thedifferences, you may be able to re-use that solution

If the problem still seems too hard, divide it into several parts.  Every difference you recognize may suggest a separate subproblem to solve.

If it seems unfamiliar, change how you’re describing it. Find a different description that highlights more relevant information.

If you get too many ideas, then focus on a more specific example—but if you don’t get enough ideas, make the description more general.

If a problem is too complex, make a simpler version of it. Solving a simpler instance may suggest how to solve the original problem.

Reflection.  Asking what makes a problem seem hard may suggest another approach—or a better way to spend your time.

Impersonation.  When your ideas seem inadequate, remember someone more expert at this, and imagine what that person would do.

Resignation.  Whenever you find yourself totally stuck, stop whatever you’re doing now and let the rest of your mind find alternatives.

Knowing How: The best way to solve a problem is to already know how to solve it—if you can manage to retrieve that knowledge.

If none of these methods work, you can ask another person else for help.

## Notes:

Folksonomies: problem solving

Taxonomies:
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/hobbies and interests/games/board games and puzzles (0.326123)

Keywords:
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Concepts:
How to Solve It (0.983424): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Problem solving (0.836214): dbpedia | freebase
English-language films (0.593213): dbpedia
Difference (0.570701): dbpedia
By the Way (0.490948): dbpedia | freebase | yago

Role Models, Mentors, and Imprimers and Thinking
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Minsky, Marvin (April 10, 2008), Role Models, Mentors, and Imprimers and Thinking, Retrieved on 2016-02-05
• Source Material [web.media.mit.edu]
• Folksonomies: problem solving