Every year my family and I sit down to the living room coffee table to put together a Christmas themed puzzle right after Thanksgiving. We usually take a week or two to get it put together, to have ready by Christmas, and it’s a tradition we established that I believe our children will remember forever.

Some puzzles are pretty simple, like this one below, while others with very little distinguishing marks or subtle colors, are more difficult and take much longer to piece together. I’d much rather take a 2000 piece over a 1000 piece, as long as the colors are vibrant if you ask me. The ones where over half of the pieces are the same color – well, let’s just say mental fatigue comes sooner than later.

But I have a trick for you! It’s something that will let you solve puzzles more quickly and maybe even similar problems in your own career. It’s not defining the borders first (which is what I recommend to do anyways), or starting on easily identifiable colors next… Instead, it’s grouping.

After you have done all you can and then bogged down because the rest are the same color, simply group the rest of your pieces by shape. Assuming your puzzle pieces have four sides, you’ll have one group for 1 male/3 female, 2 opposing males/females, 2 corner males/females, 3 males/1 female, and finally a very tiny group (if any) of 4 female or 4 male. Now that your groups are defined, go back to a section, identify what you need and then systematically go through each piece in the smaller group until you find the right piece! Then naturally, the puzzle solves more progressively as you complete it.

Once you get this down, try applying this technique to your own problems and struggles. I wouldn’t expect it to solve all your problems, but perhaps in one way or another, you might be able to live a better life, be a better coworker, perform quicker tasks if you can manage to group your pieces in a similar fashion!

Sometimes my time is limited, where my kids might kick in to finish the puzzle – and that’s okay! Just like you, if you’re too busy to build or improve your service management product, leave it to the folks here at Dataseti! We can take care of you on time and budget, so that you can do the things that you want to do!

Until next year, Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

-Randall Reed, President & CEO

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