How Toast Can Improve Your Problem Solving

Whoever says that drawing the steps out of the toast making process can’t help you solve your problems clearly hasn’t seen Tom Wujec’s Ted Talk. While it may seem silly the process of drawing toast out is the first step of learning how to solve complex problems. How is this possible? When you take the time to draw out each step in something simple like drawing toast you can apply it to a larger scale and collaborate with others to take ideas forward or solve more difficult problems. I decided to try this myself and see how many steps it would take for me to make toast.


I have to admit the project was silly, fun and informative. It showed me how my own brain worked and the way I approach problem solving. Luckily for me Tom’s Ted Talk continued into another method that had many of his students producing more effective results than their original toast drawing method. Instead of drawing the steps out on a piece of paper now the students were instructed to use sticky notes. This allowed for the easy removal of steps where an extra card seemed unnecessary. I decided to try this next step for myself and see what I could come up with.


When I redid the experiment I found interesting results. While I thought my original toast diagram had been as to-the-point as it could be I actually diminished my steps by three. I found myself combining steps and moving sticky notes around to look for new ideas. I will definitely by taking this new though process with me into the future to find new creative solutions.

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