Bring the FUN back into Solving Problems

Bring the FUN back into Solving Problems

Hello there from the Food Bites Team…

In our last blog on creativity, we established that everyone has a creative domain.  This week we are going to explore how you can approach problems more creatively.

Problems abound all the time.  In both our work and personal lives today, we are dealing with more uncertainty than ever.  We are required to do more with less, be responsive to many, and often complex, demands, whilst achieving high-level results at the same time.  We constantly need to recalibrate how we approach things.  All this often needs to be done in the shadow of intense stress.  This means that we need more than ever to tap into that deep resource of creativity to approach problems.

Creativity is probably one of the greatest resources we have at our disposal in ever-changing times that present multiple complex problems.

The obstacle to solving problems effectively is that we have grown accustomed to do so from a point of anxiety and pressure.  Often problem-solving tends to be hastily reactive, rather than proactive.  Sometimes we even aggravate the problem in the way we react to it.

Problems get solved more resourcefully if we start to see them as creative opportunities, relax and make time to indulge them differently.  John Cleese, in his talk on creativity in business many years back in his capacity as CEO of Video Arts training company, said that we must make a ‘time-space oasis’ to be creative and come up with new ideas.  Problem-solving IS about coming up with new ideas.  Problems are opportunities.  They do not always need to be a series of crises that we need to combat.

But problems can only become creative opportunities if we approach the problems differently.

John Cleese also claimed that a big part using creativity to solve problems is to have fun.  Think of when you were a child, how your imagination soared in having all the time in the world to just explore, make up games.  Where you played just for the sake of playing, without any specific outcome and little notion of time passing.

Solving problems is also about shifting perspective, so we can re-approach the problems more creatively.  Sometimes, it is good to pause, put the problem aside for a bit, and do something completely different.  To engage your imagination just as you did as a child.


So, this week, we are going to challenge you create a ‘time-space oasis’ to let the problem go for a bit before you actually begin solving it.  Here are some steps to do so.

STEP 1: Name a problem you need to solve today.  Write it on a piece of paper.

STEP 2: Now, put it aside somewhere safe and forget about it for at least a day.

STEP 3: Do something completely different and switch off and get into another zone. Put aside a ‘time-space oasis’ in your diary and do not swop it out for anything else and give it the full time you have set aside.

STEP 4: Choose a fun activity.  Be silly.  Do something fun just for the sake of it.  What, you may ask, could I do?  Here are a few ideas…


  • Watch a funny you-tube video or a comedy show. Laugh and then laugh some more.
  • Go for a walk and pick dandelions and blow them into the wind
  • Play a board game with others
  • Go to a Crazy Store and buy some bubbles that you thought were for children only, go outside and blow bubbles into the breeze. Watch how they travel with the breeze, enjoy the rainbow hues that the bubbles reflect and watch them until they disappear and pop.
  • Cloud gaze. Go outside and stare at the sky and make shapes of the clouds.
  • Buy a yoyo and return to your childhood to see how you can perfect your yoyo tricks you learned
  • Fly a kite
  • Play pick-up sticks
  • Skip

These are just a few suggestions, but you get the idea.  Do anything along these lines that are just pure fun for the sake of fun.  Do whatever you choose with free abandon.

These ideas may seem silly and a waste of time, but what they do is shift your brain into a more relaxed mode so your imagination can start to take the center stage back.

So, this week, have some fun. Suspend the problem you need to resolve, put it aside.  Do something silly.  In our next Creativity blog, we will look at the next step as your return to the problem.


Lastly, we leave you with a conundrum.  Consider the line below as a line in the sand.

You are required to make this line shorter BUT you are not allowed to touch the line itself, cover it with anything, blow more sand over it etc.  How are you going to make this line shorter?