If You're Stuck On A Problem, Push For 15 Minutes, Then Find Help

If You're Stuck on a Problem, Push for 15 Minutes, Then Find Help

Being stuck can be draining. You may feel like you can grasp the problem if you spent just a little more time on it. Unfortunately, the next thing you know, you've wasted hours making little progress. Next time, if you're stuck and about to give up, spend just 15 more minutes on it -- then ask for help.

Picture: Michael Goghlan/Flickr

During these 15 minutes, document everything you're doing so that you can tell someone else. Take lots of notes so you know specifically where you're stuck and can provide relevant context and information to the people helping you. Finally, if you haven't solved it after 15 minutes, ask someone for help. Show your colleague your work and explain what the problem is.

Remember, you're not being selfish when you ask for help. Your paid hours are costing either your client or your company money (and, more importantly, it's costing you time and energy), so banging your head against the wall will not do anyone any favours. Plus, you're probably juggling other projects or tasks, and your time could be better spent elsewhere. Similarly, if you're dealing with a creative challenge and run into a block, switch tasks after 15 minutes.

You Must Try, and then You Must Ask [Akamai blog via College Info Geek]


    15 minutes?? Seriously?? Especially since documenting a really complex problem could take more than 15 minutes.. Though that is not to say that writing the problem out LIKE you're explaining it to someone else is not often a huge help...

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