Dealing with Hard Problems

Thanks to Josh Wolfe (more of him here) for tweeting this great essay about problem-solving. The article offers a few strategies for dealing with hard problems and the frustration that comes with them. I don't pretend to work on hard problems. But I get stuck at work all the time. Here are two quotes I liked.

Do something. Yeah, the problem is hard. Yeah, you have no idea what to do to solve it. At some point you have to stop staring and start trying stuff. Most of it won’t work. Our lead curriculum developer wrote 100-200 pages of content, dreaming up lots of different styles and approaches we might use. Not a one of those pages will be in the final work, but they spurred a great many ideas for content we will use.
Don’t wait until the last minute — hard problems are hard enough without having to deal with time pressure. Moreover, complex ideas take a long time to understand fully. The people you know who seem wicked smart, and who seem to come up with ideas much faster than you possibly could, are often people who have simply thought about the issues for much longer than you have.