by Yong Vin Kit
Taking up my first full time job was a real eye-opener. Thought that all those years of stressing yourself out from studying was the worst time of your life? Well think again! But that’s another story for another day.
But another great way of managing stress could be Design Thinking. Originally created by the Architecture School at Stanford, it’s a five step process that helps you understand what the people you want to help need before you create a solution.
So how can a process meant for architects help you overcome stress in the workplace?
Step 1: Stop and think about your problem
Sometimes problems are problems because we tend to overcomplicate things, which is no surprise since you may have a dozen or more things coming at you in the office at once. Give yourself a second to really think about the problem and ask yourself: “Is the problem really as urgent as I think it is?”, “What is the most important problem I’m facing right now?”, and “Will this problem affect my other problems?”
Step 2: Write down your problems in one sentence
Once you’ve have a clearer picture of the problem, try writing it down to one sentence. For example, if you have a project that’s due next week, you can write “A project due next week is still short on data”.
Note: Do not create a to-do list now as it can reduce the number of ideas in the next step.
Step 3: Brainstorm for ideas
Stay open for ideas. Brainstorming all by yourself can be hard since there’s no one else to bounce ideas out of. So try getting a friend or colleague to help. As with all brainstorming sessions, keep an open mind and consider ideas no matter how whacky they seem at first.
Step 4: Use the simplest idea
Once you have a list of ideas you can chew on, choose the simplest. Now you can come up with a to do list or plan how you would like to use your idea in solving your problem.
Step 5: Start it small
As the saying goes, big things come in small packages. Start small when you’re using your idea. For example, you may want to schedule enough rest time for yourself to overstressing yourself. If it works, think about going bigger. If it doesn’t, maybe try something else on that list?
In a nutshell
There may not be one best way of managing stress for everyone, but Design Thinking can definitely play a part in helping you overcome problems that are stressing you out. So try it, and see if it fits your style of managing stress.
Wanna know more about Design Thinking and how it can help you in your career, why not join us for our upcoming workshop? We’d also like to hear how you solve problems!