The key is to isolate one aspect of the problem that is difficult and work on it. This provides a direct feedback loop.
- Find something that is like the hard thing but is easy.
- Modify the easy thing so that it is like the hard thing in exactly one way that you find hard.
- Do the modified thing until it is no longer hard.
- If you get stuck, do one of the following:
- Go back to step 3 and pick a different way in which the problem is hard.
- Recursively apply the general system for learning to do hard things to the thing you’re stuck on.
- Go ask an expert or a rubber duck for advice.
- If you’re still stuck after trying the first three, it’s possible that you may have hit some sort of natural difficulty limit and may not be able to make progress.
- If the original hard thing is now easy, you’re done. If not, go back to step 2.
MacIver, D. R. (2019). How to do hard things. Retrieved from https://www.drmaciver.com/2019/05/how-to-do-hard-things/. Online; accessed 20 May 2019. ↩