Come back later

You should never discount the power of your sub-conscious to come up with solutions to a problem. The issue with this approach is that it's not active, but passive: You need to walk away and stop thinking about the problem to give your brain time to work on it.

This method is not reliable, and should not be used if you need to complete the work to a very strict deadline. But if you have the luxury of time, stop working on the problem and focus on something else for a while. You might find that you have a sudden flash of inspiration.


Isabelle needs to solve a tricky problem with a screen in the app she works on. She's been staring at her computer screen for hours, and can't think of any more approaches. She saves her work and switches the computer off, then goes to bed.

The next morning, Isabelle wakes up and is making breakfast when she a solution suddenly comes to her. She makes a quick note and is excited to get to work so that she can mock it up and run through it with her manager.

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