The Amazing Fifteen Minute Break

How many times have you been working away on a problem and not been able to solve it, then when you are commuting home or you stop for a snack, you find the answer jumps out at you? For me it is almost a given. Anytime I am having a hard time solving a problem, as soon I step away I the answer almost always arrives. So why is that so many times we find ourselves thinking that we can try that one last solution?

Identifing the Struggle

Even identifying that you are struggling with a problem can be challenging, never mind taking a break. But identifying the struggle is the key to staying productive. Once you become aware you can take action.

Many times it is from the help of a coding buddy that I am able to notice and take the much needed break. Other times it is the lack of forward progress. Sometime there is the gut feeling that the design isn’t quite right.

The Fifteen Minute Break

A simple walk around the building or a quick stretch can give you the fresh look at your problem. Fifteen minutes away from the problem allows the mind the break to perform its amazing process. It has worked for me more times than I can count. By walking away you get a different perspective on the problem that you couldn’t get when you were too deep in the weeds.

It is contradictory to think that a 15 minute break would make you more productive, especially when you are struggling to find the solution but I believe that in our industry it allows us to re-frame and be more creative.

How do you identity you are struggling with a problem? How do you take your 15 minutes break to refresh?


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