The Time Traveller – a technique to solve tough problems

When trying to solve a difficult problem, creating ‘psychological distance’ can be very helpful. One simple technique to achieve this distance is called ‘The Time Traveller’.

Finding a creative solution isn’t always easy. Sometimes you are simply too involved with a problem. The trick in these situations is asking for help from someone with a more objective view. Guess what; such an advisor is always close by…

There is someone who is never too busy to help you out. This person is always around and understands you better than anyone. This person is …you.

No, I’m not messing with you. The best person to ask for help when you are trying to solve a tricky problem, is yourself.

Let me explain.

As I wrote in an earlier post, a bit of mental distance can help you find more original solutions. In today’s short article I’d like to share a trick with you to do exactly that; create psychological distance between you and the problem.

The Time Traveller
Imagine for a moment that time travel will be invented at some point in the future. Hold that thought.

Now imagine meeting your ninety-year-old self, who travelled back in time. What would this wise oldie from the future advise you?

It might seem silly to entertain this thought, but it could very well help you find the insights you need.

Imagining how your experienced 90-year-old future self gives you advice, will help you to create psychological distance. The silly exercise allows you to shift your perspective and to see approaches you would otherwise overlook.

What insights would your time travelling advisor share?


Curious what other techniques you could use to tackle tricky problems? Try one of the following techniques to generate even more creative solutions:

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