If you’re trying to come up with a new business idea or increase your sales by solving common customer issues, you need to practice problem-solving. Improving your ability to problem solve will not only help you become an expert thought leader in your industry but will drastically improve the overall success of your business.

You might think that some people are just born with great problem-solving skills and you weren’t one of them so you’re out of luck, but that’s not true. You can train your brain to work in a whole new way that will not only improve your mind but your business as well. But how do you learn to problem solve better?

Get ready to save time and money, here are seven ways to strengthen your problem-solving skills.

Keep an idea journal.

It’s hard to solve problems when you keep all your ideas jumbled up inside your head so let them out. Keep an idea journal with you at all times so you can quickly write down any business ideas you have, problems you’ve encountered, experiences you’ve had or any other thoughts as they come into your mind.

Writing down all your ideas will help you to easily and objectively view them. When you have a physical space for all your thoughts, you can review analyze all of your ideas and problems in a simple, effective way.

Logic puzzles.

Logic puzzles are an excellent way to improve the problem-solving part of your brain. With many logic puzzles, you’re taking a problem and solving it backward which comes in handy for real-life problem-solving.

Even games like Sudoku and crossword puzzles are amazing tools to strengthen your problem-solving skills. Download some apps on your phone and spend just a few minutes a day playing on your lunch break or during your commute and you’ll have a convenient and entertaining way to exercise your mind.

Get a good night’s sleep.

You’ll never be able to effectively solve all the problems you might experience in a regular business day if you’re not getting enough sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy brain that works at full capacity.

In fact, sleeping on difficult problems can actually help solve them. A study by the University of San Diego states that creative problem solving is enhanced by REM sleep. A good night’s rest will stimulate associative networks which allow the brain to make new and useful associations between unrelated ideas.

Learn about different topics.

If you have a wide range of knowledge on how things work, your problem-solving skills will greatly improve. Learning about different topics will not only make you a more well-rounded business owner but it will also help connect the dots between different ideas you have and how you can make them work together.

There is a wide array of places on the web where you can learn all about different topics for free including wikiHow where you can learn just about anything under the sun for business and your personal life. You never know, when you take a few minutes out of your day to learn how to be an effective public speaker, for example, you could solve many problems within your business including how to have more effective meetings, how to network better and how to market yourself.

Read mystery books.

Reading mystery books is a fun and effective way to level up your problem-solving skills. Not only are you being entertained with a thrilling story but you get to practice your problem solving and analytical thinking skills by trying to solve the mystery before it’s revealed to you.

You can link together clues you’re given throughout the novel and brainstorm different outcomes. A good “whodunnit” will have you thinking in a way your brain usually doesn’t in a typical day which will improve your problem-solving skills in the future.

Strengthening your problem-solving skills can improve all aspects of your business from marketing to accounting to customer service. No matter which of these skill strengthening methods you choose to incorporate into your life, your business will greatly benefit from being run by an amazing problem solver.