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.