Rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Analysis Paralysis

Yesterday I was thinking myself into a corner about the best way to refactor some code I'd written. The thoughts just went round and round in my head with no hope of conclusion. This can get pretty tiring after a while, so I went for a short walk. While walking, the facts seemed to order themselves and present me with a couple of simple options to choose from. So now I can just get on with implementing them.

I've just finished reading Blink, and that surprised me with some interesting stories about the power of the unconscious mind. Sometimes consciously thinking about something doesn't work as well as leaving your unconscious to get on with it. I think I might do well to heed Ap Dijksterhuis's advice in this New Scientist article 'Sleeping on it' best for complex decisions
“At some point in our evolution, we started to make decisions consciously, and we’re not very good at it. We should learn to let our unconscious handle the complicated things,”