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Document your thoughts

Michael Z
Software writer
Originally published at michaelzanggl.com Updated on ・1 min read

Originally posted at michaelzanggl.com. Subscribe to my newsletter to never miss out on new content.

Here's a nice little habit I've picked up recently.

I was working on a feature for a side project, but I struggled coming up with the right approach. For a couple of days, I was procrastinating on it, working on other parts of the app (you know, coding). I tried taking notes in bulleted lists and doing some brainstorming with mind maps. But it was all still so blurry. There was no clear path.

Then I tried something different. After reading some of the stuff from the people at basecamp, I followed their recommendations and started writing. And I mean actually writing, using proper sentences rather than just bullet points. It was very casual as if I was talking to a person, telling him/her/me(?) about all the problems with the first approach, and how the other one just isn't compelling enough.

It conceptualized my thoughts, put them into order and laid everything out in front of me.

The end result was a mix of multiple approaches and things that I have not even thought of before. And it only took an hour of writing to clear my brain that has been foggy for days now.

One more thing I came to understand:

I can type pretty fast, but I realized that typing fast was paradoxically slowing me down. My thoughts couldn't catch up. I couldn't keep the "conversation" going. So try slowing down when you feel the same way.

Discussion (8)

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bradtaniguchi profile image
Brad

Sounds like rubber duck debugging, great way to figure out problems and find solutions :)

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fergarram profile image
Fernando Garcia

Love this!

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viralatron profile image
Daniel Amaral e Silva

Never had heard of this approach, but looks like it is effective. Gonna give it a try along with Michi technique!

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albertstartup profile image
albertstartup

Solid piece, going to try it!

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iakashpatel profile image
Akash Patel

that's nice michi i will give it a try for sure. thanks for this idea.

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abhishekpakhare97 profile image
Abhishek Ramesh Pakhare

I think it is very good approach to debug. Thank you I will try it from the next time😁

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anshulnegitc profile image
Anshul Negi

It's nice you share this approach with this and I would like to add one more thing i.e this approach not only solves problems related to programming but problem we face in day-to-day life.