What Do You Do When You Don’t Know What To Do?
So here goes …
Don’t Know What To Do because there’s nothing demanding my attention ? I take a step back. What was I doing last ? Is it truly finished ? Could it be made better ? What about the thing I did before that ? And before that ? What about the skills I use to do all these things, could they be improved ? Would I get better results if I studied some more or practised some more ? What has gone wrong recently ? Is there a pattern to those things ? If there’s a repeating pattern, maybe there’s something that can be done to prevent the problem recurring ?
Don’t Know What To Do because I’m stuck on, or confused about, my current task ? I take a step back. What is it I’m trying to do ? Not the immediate thing I’m working on but the underlying purpose of that task. If the task came to me from someone else, I talk to them. And in any case, I try to work out the the real boundaries of the problem and see if there’s a different approach that may yield results. If it still looks hard, is it worth digging deeper for another purpose underlying the one I’ve already found. And of course, what about other people who’ve attempted the same task, colleagues, friends, family or people like me who are online ?
There you go. Nothing earth-shattering, you’d think, but I know from personal experience not everyone explores all those avenues. And I’m sure there are more that I don’t do that I should. You’ll detect the technical angle in the above (not surprising, since I’m a Developer and a Dev Team Leader) but I think the principles are broader than that.