Any tips to prevent overthinking?

When developing a project, learning a programming language or when I encounter an error. I have a really bad tendency to overthink concepts, error messages and can spend hours going through pages and pages on the internet then leads to a burn out. When I come back to it later I see that often the solution was right in front of my face the entire time or the concept was actually pretty simple. Can someone give me any tips to prevent this please?

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Hey leehk2
maybe you’re just tired and can’t connect the dots at that moment, when you go back to it with a refreshed mind you can see “through the lies of the Jedi”.
Try a time management method if you feel like you’re wasting time on not-essential tasks. However sometimes things are just hard and need research effort to finally feel they were easy in retrospect… :slight_smile:


Ideally if you’re learning self-paced, tackling a thorny issue for no more than thirty minutes or one hour at a time can prevent yourself getting mentally stuck (the length varies from person to person). Mark each logical path attempted at a solution as an achievement and take log of them so you can see what worked best and what didn’t. When you step away, your brain will still passively try to problem-solve your task so taking a break is not giving up. Take comfort in improving your methodology, rather than necessarily reaching the goal right away.

However, in the case that it’s essential that you learn it in some sort of time frame, there are different considerations. Often, this will happen with topics that maybe are a bit apart from your current level of a certain topic.

  • in the present, you can try to solve the “surface” answer. Get feedback from other people, dig deeper into what are tools for solving the task at hand.
  • at the same time, this may highlight some area of knowledge you may want to reinforce in the future, so do keep a bookmark to return to this to get a broader feel for the material.
  • could this have been preemptively solved? It can help inform your study plan if you plan for potential future problems (which, while the problems are not tangibly foreseeable, you can still hash out what kind of strategy you use when facing the unknown)

I agree with you!