The best type of problem solver – quick or competent?

Problem solved!

Problem solved…


Usually there are only 2 ways of fixing a problem – solve it quickly or solve it competently. The above picture shows a classic ‘solve it quickly’ mentality. No time for a proper new bike wheel – just stick a roller skate on the bottom.

ATTENTION ****** I need to interrupt this current blog post to inform you that last night I cut my finger on a dried piece of cheese… I didn’t even know that was possible. Cheese 1, Jon 0 ****** MESSAGE OVER.

Sorry about that interruption, it seemed important but also hugely irrelevant.

Anyway, whenever a problem comes up, you need to decide which type of solver you will be. Will you take your car to a competent mechanic or will you just get your trusty roll of Duct tape out?

A competent fix will seem slow at first but it’ll probably save you time and effort in the long term. But a quick fix will give you instantaneous, delicious joy.

You can quickly get back to sleeping, eating, or beating people at Fifa (please note: I never beat people at fifa… it’s really hard!)

These two types of problem solving cause issues in society though. I tidy by hiding the mess as quickly as possible… pots go into wardrobes, magazines go under sofas… sometimes some crockery will end up hidden in the spare bedroom. That’s how I tidy.

But my wife is thorough, competent and pretty slow at cleaning – everything must be clean even if no one can see it. She’s the best at tidying, but not the best at tidying quickly.

Together we can occasionally form some kind of super team. And that’s surely the best thing to do with these two ways to problem solve… join forces and be both quick and competent.

But a word of warning, if any of you are quick problem solvers living with competent problem solvers… never ever do this:


You think you've solved a problem... you've just created a whole bunch

You think you’ve solved a problem… you’ve just created a whole bunch


Some people will look at that photo and see no problem… others will be filled with anger.

Maybe that’s the true test to see what type of problem solver you are?