Executive Problem-solving – put down your problem and get out from under it




Having a problem hanging over your head can be so exhausting and frustrating.

You carry it around with you and when you are ‘under a problem’ you only see one side – the view from below.

One thing I learned from my corporate life – as a consultant paid to solve corporate problems – is to ‘put the problem down and walk away from it’ for a while.

When you put a problem down and take a break from it and then come back to the problem you can:

1. feel ‘refreshed’ and better able to solve the problem
2. see the problem from different angles
3. have a more detached and ‘less desperate’ response

The problem doesn’t seem as big and intimidating if you put it down and get out from under it.

In my personal experience, I found the harder I tried to ‘squeeze out’ an answer or solve a problem, the less effective I was.

In one of my jobs, my office was located by Sydney Harbour and I would get better solutions by literally walking away from my desk and the problem and taking a walk down by the water.

I trained myself to ‘forget my problem’ and focus instead on things like:
• the feel of the breeze
• the warmth of the sun on my face
• the sounds of the waves

I was very grateful we were so close to the water. These days, when I am not solving corporate problems, I enjoy working on creative projects like helping write about and describe the Executive Escape and Writer’s Retreat, Sirenia Retreat. It’s a very enjoyable project combining my creative and corporate experience.

One of the reasons Sirenia is such a good escape for executives trying to solve some problem or prepare some big presentation or product launch, is it’s so easy to ‘walk away’ from your problem and focus on the simple sensory delights like the warmth of the sun, the feel of the breeze, or the sound of the water or the birds. 

Even the distant sound of a tinnie with an outboard motor, to me, sounds like holiday fun – rather than work.

Aaahhh – the serenity of Sirenia!


Even if you are working on a book or creative project, I encourage you to walk away from whatever is giving you grief. Come back to it later…refreshed.

TB OT 20106754_10211558216524158_3362450663233381747_n.jpg