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Do this to make big problems feel more manageable

🔬 Today’s tip: If a problem in your life feels too big to tackle, apply the scientific method.

If you’re feeling stuck in a permanent state of burnout — and who among us isn’t, these days? — the mental-health researcher Emily PG Erickson shares a strategy for turning a big, overwhelming situation into something that feels more manageable: Apply the scientific method. That is, observe your situation, come up with a hypothesis for how to make it better, test that hypothesis, and draw a conclusion.

Erickson is using this framework to investigate one of her greatest woes: managing the Zoom-filled school days of her two young kids. “It’s an iterative process — a way to identify problems and keep making improvements,” she writes. There’s value in testing different solutions and checking on your progress regularly. What’s working? What isn’t? You’re stepping back and seeing the big picture — just as a scientist would.

📚 More from Forge on creative solutions:

This 500-Year-Old Piece of Advice Can Help You Solve Your Modern Problems

How to Solve an Impossible Problem

Don’t Try to Fix Anything Right Now

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