We all have had days where we just fail to be productive, or days when nothing goes in the way we want it to. Though sometimes the cause of this is beyond our control, most of the times it is we who fail to manage our work. Pretty harsh isn’t it? Nevertheless, it’s a fact you cannot deny.
The moment you realize that things in your life have begun to spiral, you start adopting ways to bring everything under control…..but to no avail. So then what?
Feeling helpless is indeed frustrating and exhausting. All you need to have is the right approach to not feel helpless and get your routine back on track. If no amount of to-do list making, time-table making, or journaling has helped, then it is probably the right time to turn your attention to ‘Design Thinking’.
Now, some of you might have not even heard this term and some of you might have heard it, but only in professional spaces. So what is design thinking and how can you can apply it in your personal life?
Design Thinking is an approach adopted by designers, engineers, strategists, marketers, and artists to redefine problems, brainstorm and find an innovative and unique solution. Using design thinking, companies and professionals create products which best suit the needs and interest of consumers, are economically viable and technologically feasible.
If I have to simply explain what design thinking is, I would say it is a process in which one identifies a problem finds creative solution and put it’s to practice.
In professional spaces, the process of design thinking has about 5 stages which the experts have pointed down as the empathize stage, problem definition stage, solutions ideating stage, prototype stage and the final, testing stage. In your personal space though, you need not go about every stage to find solutions.
So here is how you can easily apply design thinking in your daily life:
Make a list of priorities
We all are piled up with work every single day and have a long list of things that need to get done. It’s highly advisable you jot down the things that are of topmost priority and get on it one by one. Stick to finishing one work at a time. When there is too much on the head, it is natural to get lost in doing some other work. For example, if you have to work on a college assignment and also prepare for an extracurricular activity, choose to finish one, instead of working on both simultaneously.
Identify the problem
Identifying and redefining the problem is the crux of design thinking. Without that, you won’t be able to find solutions. Making mental notes of the problems and solutions might not be effective and can slip from the mind in the blink on an eye. I suggest you grab a paper and a pen. Write down the problem on the middle of the paper and then write down the reasons behind the problem. The reason why I am asking you to write down is because visuals create more impact on the mind. When you note down and read what you write, it helps you understand the problem more clearly.
Design ways that will help eliminate the problems
This mainly involves a lot of brainstorming. Here, write down different ways in which you think you can counter the problems. For example, if the problem is you not being able to work for 2-3 hours at a stretch, then your solution can be taking a break of 5 minutes after every 15 minutes. This will help you not feel too worn out with work. You can pick any solution that works best for you. Make sure you at least design 5-6 solutions so that even if one or two fail to work, you will have options to try out.
Test the solutions
Many a times, most of the solutions you design won’t work. You will only find out which ones work if you test them. Try out all your solutions and choose to go ahead with the ones that ensure your maximum productivity.
Design Thinking is not a known concept to many and is largely practiced only in professional spaces till date. There are very few who practice design thinking in their personal lives. Many have found it effective rather than just making to-do-list. Have you decided to give it a try?