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Getting Unstuck by Doing Something Else


Sometimes when working on a problem/issue you realize you have been stuck on that issue for ages and yet you are no closer to solving the problem than when you encountered it - you have hit a brick wall. As much as you want to keep trying to push through and see if you can solve it you know it is futile.

This happened to me recently when trying to work out why I was getting a seemingly weird bug. In the end, I decided to go for a short break and walk down to the local coffee shop. While walking (not even thinking of the problem) an idea came to mind that I had not thought of while trying to tackle the problem. I mulled it over while waiting for my coffee and by the time I came back I had a solid solution to the problem.

Context switching kills productivity. But trying to force your way to a solution is even less productive. Sometimes taking a break for a little and not worrying about an issue you are stuck on can be far more productive and help get you unstuck.