I can easily get lost in a task. When I get into something, hours can pass without my noticing. This can be great sometimes – I can sit and grind away at a problem for hours if I find it interesting.
This often means that I can make a lot of progress all at once if things go smoothly. That’s not always the case, though. Bugs and other issues come up while I’m working. Most of the time I can just handle them and move on, but sometimes I’ll run into an issue that I just can’t figure out.
In many situations, being able to continue working on a stubborn problem until you find a solution is a good thing. At a certain point, it’s better to take a break and walk away from the problem for a while.
It’s difficult to know when I’m at that point. I fall into the trap of thinking “I know I can figure this out if I just try one more thing.” For awhile, this isn’t a problem. Suddenly, I’ll find myself getting so frustrated that I feel physically ill. Even at that point, it’s hard to step away because, again, “I know I can figure this out if I just try one more thing.”
I know from experience that sometimes all it takes to solve a previously unsolvable problem is to take the dog for a walk and revisit the issue after a break. Sometimes the best option is to call it a day and come back to the problem with fresh eyes in the morning.
Right now, I’m deciding to step away from the computer for the rest of the night. I’ve been trying to figure out why VSCode isn’t recognizing numpy anymore, even though it had been up until this afternoon. I’ve spent way too much time on this issue and I haven’t gotten anywhere. Tomorrow, I’ll start fresh.