Don't forget that folk wrote code before Google arrived ;-). We must have managed somehow! For me having a mentor helped, as they could be googled for tips and hints. Also starting on a partially complete project (like contributing to open source?) helped as I could see how the problem was being addressed and didn't need to cope with the whole thing myself.
I like your point about breaks. Many times I have beaten my head against a wall only to solve a problem in seconds the next morning. Not only is this a standard "creativity trick" (letting your subconscious work for you) but a good motivator. Ernest Hemingway apparently always left himself something to finish at night so he'd be motivated to get started again on the morning.
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