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THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY: The McCommitments - The Scottish Saviours of Soul. 

Creativity can solve almost any problem. George Lois

Well, here we are in another year and another new episode. I had a bit of trouble deciding what this one should be if I’m totally honest but I think you’ll find today's topic quite valuable!


In recent weeks I’ve found nothing but insurmountable and challenging problems ahead of me. I have so much on my plate in fact that I couldn’t retain it all in there and was forced to do a brain dump, before further breaking down the issues that I had to deal with. Eventually, I had to make some tough decisions and implement solutions that went against the way I like to work. The truth was though, that I simply couldn’t handle everything that lay ahead of me. At least not in a "timely manner".


KIDLIN’s LAW is a new one to me, and I only heard about it recently, but it’s a good one and it’s one that helped me to sort out the mess that was in my head. It goes along with my oft-quoted ramblings about writing stuff down.


Writing down your goals or tasks significantly increases the likelihood of completing them. According to commonly cited research, individuals who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them compared to those who don't. This statistic is often referenced to emphasize the power of goal setting and the act of writing as a commitment tool. However, it's important to note that the effectiveness of this practice can vary depending on individual habits, the nature of the goals, and the specific methods used to track and pursue these goals.


KIDLIN’S LAW goes hand in hand with this – It states that "If you write a problem in clear and specific steps, then the matter is half-solved.” Sometimes spoken as “A problem well stated is half resolved.”  It is the basic principle of problem-solving which got its name after Kidlin, a fictional character in a novel by James Clavell who used this technique to solve various challenges in his life.


I think it’s fair to say that not all problems are created equal. Some problems are quickly resolved, with no real mental burden whilst others remain unsolved, shelved in our minds, to try and sort out at another time. These unresolved problems can progressively impair our efficiency and productivity until they are addressed.


I’ve previously done a show about the "Zeigarnik Effect." A psychological concept, named after the Soviet psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, which suggests that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks far better than completed ones. It implies that unresolved matters tend to occupy our minds more persistently than those we have finished, often leading to a confused or limited state of mind. The Zeigarnik Effect highlights the psychological impact of incomplete or unresolved tasks and issues.

KIDLIN’s LAW is a way of ending this short circuit in our brains. Completing the incomplete loops we have stuck in there and helping us move on.

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein

So let’s look more closely at KIDLIN’s LAW


"If you write a problem in clear and specific steps, you have half solved it."


Well, how that might be put into practice? It's widely regarded that there are 5 stages to problem-solving in this way.


  1. Identify the Problem: Recognize the issue or goal blockage, understanding its nature and scope. Clearly and simply state the problem. Avoid vague or general statements, such as “I’m unhappy” or “I need more money”. Instead, be specific and concrete, such as “I’m unhappy with my current job because it doesn’t match my skills and interests” or “I need more money to pay off my debt and save for retirement.”

  2. Analyze the problem: Identify the origin of the problem, its impact, and its priority. Ask yourself questions like, What are the causes of the problem? What are the effects of the problem? What are the constraints or limitations of the problem? What are the assumptions or beliefs behind the problem? What are the desired outcomes of solving the problem?

  3. Develop Solutions: Brainstorm potential solutions, plan strategies, and decide on the most effective methods. At this stage, avoid judging or critiquing your ideas; aim to list as many as you can. Embrace creativity and keep an open mind, exploring various viewpoints. Employ techniques like mind mapping, listing, or free writing to brainstorm solutions.

  4. Evaluate Solutions: Check solution feasibility regarding timeframe, scalability, reliability, and technical possibility. Assess solutions considering their practicality, effectiveness, efficiency, cost, risk, and impact. Employ methods like pros and cons lists, SWOT analysis, decision matrices, or scoring systems to aid in this process.

  5. Implement Solutions: Choose a solution, set deadlines, and establish a feedback mechanism for effective implementation. Develop an action plan detailing what actions will be taken, their timing, methods, and involved parties. Establish deadlines and key milestones for each task. Keep track of your progress and evaluate the results. Be prepared to make adjustments based on feedback and new insights.

By applying these steps, you can leverage Kidlin’s Law for more efficient and easier problem-solving. Documenting the issue in this way aids in clarifying thoughts, focusing attention, organizing information, and sharing ideas effectively.

Here's an additional and simpler productivity hack that may be useful if you are in a hurry. It's called the 1:3:1 framework. It is: 1: Identify a problem. 3: Come up with three proposed solutions. 1: Act on the best one.


Whatever method you use, if you have a problem that you haven’t been able to solve try using Kidlin’s Law. The practice of writing it all down also helps in reducing stress, boosting confidence, and encouraging action so when confronted with a challenging problem remember that “A problem well stated is a problem half resolved.” Why don’t you test it yourself and experience its effectiveness?


Good luck.


I’ll end with another quote from Albert Einstein who said If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution.


Now take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’ and join me next time on FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY AND SUCCESS!


  • The music you can hear right now is Adventures by A Himitsu and the executive producer is Kris Sommerville of Frontline Kit UK. Uniform hire for TV and film.

  • You can view the show notes for this episode on the official website

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Kris Sommerville of Frontline Kit UK. Uniform hire for TV and film.

Frontline Kit UK Premier police kit and uniform clothing provider.

THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY: The McCommitments - The Scottish Saviours of Soul. 

Celebrating the music from the multimillion-selling soundtrack to the iconic Alan Parker movie "The Commitments". The McCommitments keep the soul of The Commitments alive with an 11-piece band smashing out classic soul hits such as In The Midnight Hour, Try A Little Tenderness,  Take Me to the River, Hard To Handle, and of course.....Mustang Sally [and more.]


The McCommitments are available to play shows all across Scotland and beyond delivering a high-energy 2 hours of soul music that will have audiences going and dancing.  Available for corporate events, social clubs, charity events, and theatres.  

Instagram: the_mccommitments_soul




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