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Sudoku for Beginners: How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills
Are you a beginner when it comes to solving Sudoku puzzles? Do you find yourself frustrated and unsure of where to start? Fear not, as we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to improve your problem-solving skills through Sudoku.
Understanding the Basics of Sudoku
Before we dive into the strategies and techniques, let’s first understand the basics of Sudoku. A Sudoku puzzle is a 9×9 grid that is divided into nine smaller 3×3 grids. The objective is to fill in each row, column, and smaller grid with numbers 1-9 without repeating any numbers.
Starting Strategies for Beginners
As a beginner, it can be overwhelming to look at an empty Sudoku grid. But don’t worry. There are simple starting strategies that can help you get started. First, look for any rows or columns that only have one missing number. Fill in that number and move on to the next row or column with only one missing number. Another strategy is looking for any smaller grids with only one missing number and filling in that number.
Advanced Strategies for Beginner/Intermediate Level
Once you’ve mastered the starting strategies, it’s time to move on to more advanced techniques. One technique is called “pencil marking.” This involves writing down all possible numbers in each empty square before making any moves. Then use logic and elimination techniques to cross off impossible numbers until you are left with the correct answer.
Another advanced technique is “hidden pairs.” Look for two squares within a row or column that only have two possible numbers left. If those two possible numbers exist in both squares, then those two squares must contain those specific numbers.
Benefits of Solving Sudoku Puzzles
Not only is solving Sudoku puzzles fun and challenging, but it also has many benefits for your brain health. It helps improve your problem-solving skills, enhances memory and concentration, and reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
In conclusion, Sudoku is a great way to improve your problem-solving skills while also providing entertainment. With these starting and advanced strategies, you’ll be able to solve even the toughest Sudoku puzzles. So grab a pencil and paper and start sharpening those brain muscles.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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How to Remain Calm Under Pressure & Overcome Problems in 9 Steps
When times get tough and you are faced with any of life’s complicated problems it can be hard to stay motivated…
How do you stay motivated and keep your cool when things are going badly around you?
Here are some tips on how to stay positive and motivated when times get tough and you face problems. If you want to learn how to overcome your problems and stay motivated, keep reading…
1) Don’t Blame Others
Accept responsibility and take charge. You especially must keep yourself positive and focused. You do this by reminding yourself and repeating these words:
‘‘I am responsible! I am responsible! I am responsible!’’
Above all, refuse to blame anyone for anything. Anger and negative emotions of all kinds are dependent upon blame for their very existence. As soon as you stop blaming other people for what has happened and take responsibility for the future, your negative emotions cease, your mind becomes calm and clear, and you begin to make better decisions.
As soon as you stop blaming other people for what has happened and take responsibility for the future, your negative emotions cease, your mind becomes calm and clear, and you begin to make better decisions.
2) How to Remain Calm Under Pressure
The starting point of staying calm under pressure is for you to refuse to react automatically and unthinkingly. Instead, take a deep breath to calm your mind and then think carefully about your next words and actions. Imagine that everyone is watching.
Imagine that this situation is a test to see what you are truly made of. Imagine that everyone is waiting to see how you will respond.
Resolve to set a good example, be a role model for others, to demonstrate the correct way to deal with a major problem, as if you were giving a lesson.
3) Get the Facts
Instead of overreacting, keep yourself calm by asking questions of the other people involved. Listen patiently to the answers as you use your problem-solving skills to find a solution.
If there is a solution, your job is to find it by fully understanding what has happened before you respond.
4) Ask Questions
Ask key questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are some that will help you get at the facts: What is the situation exactly?
- What is the situation exactly?
- What has happened?
- How did it happen?
- When did it happen?
- Where did it happen?
- What are the facts?
- How do we know that these facts are accurate?
- Who was involved?
- Who is responsible for doing (or not doing) certain things?
The very act of asking questions and gathering facts keeps you calm and increases your courage and confidence.
The more facts you have, the stronger and more capable you will feel about making good decisions to solve the problem and get through the crunch.
5) Write it Down
Begin by asking, ‘‘What, exactly, is the problem?’’ If you are working by yourself, write down a clear statement of the problem on a piece of paper.
We find that if you can get the problem down on paper it starts to solve itself. Then write down what all of the possible solutions to the problem.
You will find that when you write out your problem and solutions, you will be able to identify the best way to solve it quickly. It may not seem like a problem at all after you write it down.
6) Try Something Different
By trying something different or taking a different approach to solving a problem. You may find a new, more beneficial way to go about things.
When something fails, by taking a different approach and solving what went wrong the first time, will help you improve over the long run.
It might also help to take a break from solving the problem altogether. I find that motivational quotes and inspirational images can recharge my energy, which allows me to return to the problem at hand with full vigor.
7) Communicate With Others
Sometimes, talking over the problem with a spouse or trusted friend will help immensely to keep you calm and controlled. Go for a long walk and review the situation, examining it from every angle, seeking a possible solution. Remain optimistic, no matter what is going on.
Look for something good in the problem or situation. Very often, what appears to be a major setback is an opportunity in disguise. The complete failure of a project, process, or business venture may be exactly what you need because it may compel you to channel your time and resources in another direction.
8) Make a Decision
No matter what happens, seek the valuable lesson in every difficulty and setback.
Within every problem you face, there is the seed of an equal or greater benefit or advantage . When you discipline yourself to look for the good in the situation, and to seek the valuable lessons that the situation or crisis might contain, you automatically remain calm, positive, and optimistic.
As a result, all the powers of your wonderful mind remain available to you to solve the problem or resolve the crisis.
9) Get Busy Solving the Problem
Get so busy taking action that and solving the problem and bringing about a solution, that you don’t have time to worry or think about the problem anymore. The only real antidote to worry, is purposeful action in the direction of your goals.
Instead of becoming upset or doubting yourself and your abilities, decide to take action, any action, to resolve the difficulty and get yourself through the crunch. Remind yourself that problems come not to obstruct, but to instruct. Related article: The 10-Step Process to Solve Any Proble m
When times get tough and you are faced with any of life’s complicated problems, stay motivated knowing that using this technique you can recognize and develop strategies to solve any problem.
How do you solve your problems and stay motivated? Join the conversation below.
If you want to learn how to build greater confidence in yourself and keep calm under pressure, click the button below to download my Self-Confidence Assessment .
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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter , Facebook , Pinterest , Linkedin and Youtube .
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6 Tips to Work Effectively Under Pressure
Some industries naturally lead to higher stress levels, but high-pressure situations can happen in any job . Left unchecked, that pressure can start to eat away at your physical and mental health, leaving you feeling stressed and physically unwell. Figuring out how to handle pressure without sacrificing your performance takes practice and a few key strategies.
Here are some tips to get better at handling and performing well under pressure in the workplace:
1. Reframe the Situation
High-pressure situations tend to make everything seem worse. Instead of looking at that upcoming deadline as another task to complete, you see it as a make-or-break situation that could end your career . Sure, some situations do carry a lot of weight, but most of the daily things that stress you out at work aren’t do-or-die situations.
Try to take away the threatening aspect of the situation, and look at it as an opportunity to put your skills to work or a challenge to conquer. If you’re worried or afraid of the situation, you’re less likely to perform your best. That negative pressure can sap your energy and make the task more challenging. Change the way you think about it, and you’re better prepared to tackle it.
2. Look at Worst-Case Scenarios
When you’re under a lot of pressure, you often have a sense of doom about the outcome. But if you really stop to think about the worst-case scenario, you may realize it’s not that bad. Say you’re in charge of organizing a big meeting at your office, but you forget to book the conference room and someone else books it first. You beat yourself up over it and let the stress become overwhelming, but the worst thing that might happen is you have to get creative and find a new location. It could turn out better, too, with the other person agreeing to reschedule their event so you can have the conference room as originally planned.
Thinking about worst-case scenarios can also help you prepare for the unexpected. If you have a big presentation coming up, some potential problems could be forgetting what you’re supposed to say, losing your PowerPoint presentation, or spilling your coffee on your lap beforehand. Now, think of ways you can be prepared for those situations in case they do happen. Maybe you practice your presentation a little more and come prepared with note cards as a backup. You might save your PowerPoint presentation in multiple places to ensure you have a copy. Perhaps you choose water instead of coffee, sip carefully or pack an extra set of clothes. Use your worry to empower yourself and prepare for the worst thing that could happen.
3. Make a Plan
It’s easy to waste your time worrying or feeling overwhelmed by the situation. Instead of thinking about how it might turn out, focus on creating an action plan. Break down what you need to do to accomplish the task. Then, figure out how you’re going to complete each step to get there. Prioritizing the tasks helps you decide what needs the most attention. Focus on starting and checking off items on your to-do list. Making that progress can give you confidence and make it easier to keep going. Keep your mind on the things you can control rather than worrying about the factors that are out of your control.
4. Use Stress-Relief Strategies
Strategies that help calm you and ease the stress can make it easier to handle high-pressure work situations. Even though you feel like you need to devote all your time to the project, taking a break to exercise, meditate or breathe deeply can help lower your stress and let you work more efficiently. Listening to music can have a powerful effect on your mood and outlook . Find a type of music that calms you if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Some songs have a motivating effect, making you feel like you can conquer anything. Think about what type of attitude change you need, and find the music to help you achieve it.
5. Step Back
When you’re feeling too much pressure, take a step back and slow down. That little step can give you the clarity you need to figure out the best approach to the situation. If you rush into the project to get it done quickly, you may end up making a mistake or missing an easier solution to the situation. By taking a step back, you can formulate a strong plan to get through this high-pressure situation. That moment can also help you realize the situation isn’t as challenging as you think.
6. Reach Out for Help
Some high-pressure situations call for a little help. Talk with someone about the pressure you’re feeling, and it may be enough to improve your outlook . Someone who has been in a similar situation may have advice to help you through it. If possible, consider delegating some of your tasks to other team members so you aren’t so overwhelmed. For example, you might ask a colleague to pull numbers for you while you’re compiling your presentation for an upcoming stakeholder meeting. Even a little help can make a big difference in your outlook .
Be careful not to confuse pressure with stress – they are quite different. Pressure can be a very positive quality. Experiencing it, yet feeling calm and in control, can spur people on to achieve great things. It’s only when it keeps building and that sense of calm and order is replaced by a feeling of being out of control that stress happens, and has a wholly negative effect. Remember pressure at work will always be present, it is how you manage these that truly counts.
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8 tips to work effectively under pressure.
Pressure is inevitable at work. Now and then, we find ourselves dealing with an office situation where we have too much on our plate but have so little time. This and similar scenarios can cause employees to feel high levels of stress and pressure, which can hurt your team’s performance more than you realize.
Excessive stress or pressure could turn your team members unproductive or compromise the quality of their outputs. Worse, they could feel demotivated, and the constant feelings of anxiety and panic brought by stress could further slow them down.
As a manager, it is your job to make sure all your team members can ease their stress and develop their personal resilience. In this post we offer tips to help your team maintain composure and cope better with stress and pressure in the workplace.
1. Maintain control and focus.
This may be easier said than done, especially when tasks come in all at once or when your employees feel overwhelmed with the amount of work that they have to do.
However, there are ways to help develop awareness about the situation and practice concentration techniques. You could recommend the following work productivity tips to your members:
- Avoid negative thoughts that put one in a state of needless worrying. Instead of thinking that it’s impossible for them to finish their work assignment on time, remind them of the other times when they had faced the same challenge and succeeded.
- Eliminate outside distractions such as your chat group or an after-work event scheduled later in the day. Whatever it is that’s causing your employees to feel distracted, tell your employees to block them off immediately on their radar.
2. Create a plan.
Although the individual requirements of tasks may vary, it’s still advisable that your team comes up with an overall plan. It can serve as everyone’s guide on how to proceed with the work assignment systematically.
You could consider making a checklist to help your group see the resources you will need, your estimated time allotment for each activity, item, or section, and other relevant details.
3. Evaluate your priorities.
You might have come across a situation when an employee reached out to you for help regarding multiple high-priority tasks. Advise your employees to resist the urge to use their juggling skills – think of a juggler throwing several balls into the air and trying to catch them all with their two hands. Who knows when somebody is going to drop one of those balls?
To help you organize your schedule, you could discuss with your team which ones are the most urgent that needs to be addressed first. As a manager, you should help your members sort the urgent tasks from the less critical ones.
4. Avoid procrastination…
Procrastination is an often-used defense mechanism, which only adds to work pressure in the long run as unfinished tasks keep mounting.
You need to remind employees that getting started is the hardest part, but when they get past that first step, the rest becomes more manageable.
5. …but know when to take a breather.
Life coaches highlight the need for balance in everything that we do. The same principle of life balance applies to work.
Not only is it healthy to pause and rest once in a while, but it’s also an effective way for your team to develop a fresh perspective on what they could do to improve their output or performance at work.
6. Break down tasks and simplify.
Remind employees who are handling a complex task that they are not supposed to do it all at once or else, their mind and body will eventually feel the stress.
Instead, they need to take time to divide significant functions into more manageable components. It might help if you set mini-deadlines so that your team could work at a more comfortable pace.
7. Communicate effectively with your team.
Working on group projects requires that everyone is on the same page – meaning everyone has the same understanding of the project’s end goals and the means to achieve them. Otherwise, the team might encounter delays and uncertainties.
Be ready to communicate to your team all the essential aspects of the task and clear any concern or clarification they might have. You could take advantage of leadership and training seminars in the Philippines to help you discover appropriate strategies for communicating with your team.
8. Execute the plan.
Once your team has a game plan ready, you should stick to it and evaluate how well or how poorly it worked. That way, you can identify the most effective strategies to adopt, while discarding the inefficient ones.
As a manager, you need to cultivate a healthy, positive work environment for your team. Your employees will find it easier to meet their productivity numbers if you help them manage their workload without unnecessary stress or pressure.
By getting proper training on managing chaos , you could transfer valuable know-how and skills to your employees, so they, too, can become better at handling work pressure.
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6 Ways to Handle Work Pressure
Work pressure starts the minute you walk in the door on your first day. Meeting a bunch of new people and learning new procedures all at once is highly stressful; and you haven’t even begun performing your job duties yet. Once you do, you know you’re being evaluated for how well you “work under pressure” as management jargon calls it.
When you feel the pressure heating up, these techniques can help you keep your cool.
1. Adjust your attitude.
It’s automatic for human beings to see pressure as a threat to our wellbeing. In the workplace, though, you’re not really in danger. So that fearful viewpoint is as counterproductive as the pressure itself.
Highly successful people flip pressure into an opportunity to conquer a challenge, growing stronger and more experienced in the process. When you’re faced with learning a new skill quickly or meeting an impossible deadline, think about how it will help qualify you for a more responsible, rewarding position.
2. Stay in the present.
Worrying about the ultimate success or failure of the process can be overwhelming — and paralyzing. Instead, block all future possibilities out of your mind.
When star athletes are asked if they’re thinking about winning the championship, they always say no, they are focused only on the next game or competitor. You can use this same “one-step-at-a-time” mentality to minimize your own stressful situations.
3. Give yourself positive reinforcement.
Remind yourself that you’ve handled tough situations in the past and you know you can do it again.
If you can’t think of any similar pressures you’ve handled before, then “fake it till you make it,” as the saying goes. Amazingly, acting as if you are calm, competent and in control will become the reality — not just for outside observers but for yourself as well.
4. Visualize the worst case scenario.
Sometimes it’s the fear of the unknown that really stresses you out. So what’s the worst that could happen if you fail? Make a plan for dealing with it, and you’ll be better able to manage your anxiety and stay on track.
Step back and take a good look at this terrible thing that might happen. Is it really the end of the world? Keeping the situation in perspective will also help reduce your stress.
5. Take a deep breath.
When people are in panic mode, they tend to start rushing and stop thinking clearly. This leads to mistakes and makes the situation even worse.
Take a minute to empty your mind and just breathe. This breaks the vicious cycle of anxious, useless thoughts (“What am I doing?” “What should I do?” “What is the boss thinking?”), and allows your brain to problem-solve objectively, flexibly and creatively.
6. Ask for help.
On the job, you’re surrounded by people who’ve felt the exact same stresses you’re feeling now. Whether it’s your team peers, supervisor or coach, they can share some great tips on handling the learning curves and relieving anxiety.
Remember, you all have the same goal: to make the team a success so that you can advance your career goals. Helping you will bring rewards for them, too.
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Under Pressure – Problem Solving
Turning point moments
When you watch a sports match, there are moments that can change the game one way or another. A split-second decision that can make the difference between a yellow or red card and change the outcome. This season’s Six Nations tournament saw such decisions impact not one but two England games. In both cases, a player made a decision that reduced the team to 14 men. Likewise, every game of football has moments that would have led to victory, if the player only had been another inch further or a second quicker. Sport has countless examples of this and so does life. The Gwyneth Paltrow film, ‘Sliding Doors’, is all about the impact split-second decisions have on a person’s life. Leadership is the same. Moments where the decision went one way and it either was a success or failure.
This month, we have been looking at thinking correctly and clearly under pressure. The tendency in these pressurised moments, when our decisions change the trajectory of the entire situation, is to feel that we have no time to think. But the truth is, even in those challenging moments, we do have a few moments to gather our thinking. The key is to incorporate all the problem-solving approaches into your thinking to ensure you get as full a picture as possible. As a leader, our purpose is to:
Do the best that you can
With all that you have
In the moment that you are in.
So, when we get as full a picture as possible, we can increase our chances of achieving the best outcome because we have more of the ‘all that you have’.
Problem solving approaches
We often have a tendency to approach problems with our own style. There are six main approaches.
The trick is to use all of them to gain a full picture, which we can do with the use of these key questions…
This month, I interviewed Vicki Gascoyne-Cecil in our Leadership Lounge podcast about ‘Thinking Correctly Under Pressure’. She is an executive headteacher and faced the deeply disturbing challenge of managing a drive-by shooting threat. (Do take a listen to the episode, here !) Fortunately, the threat turned out to be a hoax, but at the time she had to assume it was genuine and, so, had to think clearly under pressure. Her story highlights how she tuned into these questions.
· Logical – her big picture and driver was to cherish the children and staff.
· Analytical – She used problem solving; she needed someone to help with the liaison and knew that her head of school was just the right person to fill this role.
· Positive – she collaborated with the county council, her chair of governors and her head of school.
· Creative – she thought of different ways to keep people safe.
· Absolute – she reviewed those ideas for pros and cons.
· Rational – she narrowed all the possibilities down to the safest option.
Even in the trickiest, most pressured moment, you can spend just a few minutes and use this grid:
If time is really tight then just ask these four:
Leadership is not sport. We have the ability to press pause, even if for a tiny moment to weigh up and consider the decision in those pressurised moments. We can’t always make a 100% correct decision, but taking that pause moment, however short, allows us to reduce the risk of a wrong sliding door or yellow card moment.
Can we help you?
How are you with dealing with pressure and a crisis? Coaching can help you grow in confidence in dealing with these tricky issues. Everyday Leader’s team of coaches can help you understand what is going on in your head and how you can manage your emotions and other people in those moments. Give us a call on 01449 710438 if you would like us to help you explore this and empower you and your team.
Everyday Leader is here to empower, inspire and equip you to do that. If we can help you find a way forward, through coaching, training or consultancy, do let us know. Contact us now: [email protected]
Inspire your thinking
Inspire your reflection
Inspire your vision
Innovation – Consider different solutions
Innovation - Get to the root of the problem
Innovation - Four Candles
Innovation - What is Good Practice?
Innovation - End Goal in Mind
The way you make me feel
5P's of Processing Pressure - PRACTISE
5P's of Processing Pressure - PRESENT (I intend to)
5P's of Processing Pressure - PARTNER
5P's of Processing Pressure - Ponder
5P's of Processing Pressure - PAUSE
Rebuild - Have a STROP
Reduce - Box in the chimp
Reframe - Pre-mortem
Review - De-conspiracise
Know your fit - A fitting time