Plants are your friends

Merlin of 43 Folders has a nice post where he promotes solving problems by writing a note to yourself.

He discusses a lot of ways to progressively get to the root of your problem without bothering other people.

However, I think he’s missed the first and most important step, get a plant.

Eh? Get a plant? What do you mean Mr. Jones?

Get a plant, any plant will do (I have a cactus), and put it on your desk. Now, when you have a problem that you just can’t see around, talk to your plant about it.

As you explain your problem to your plant (in simple terms so that it can understand, they’re not that intelligent you know) you may find the solution just jumps out of thin air, it happens to me all the time.

Go on, give it a try!

No comments.

  1. Well, this works wonders actually. Sometimes I send my self e-mail, but mostly I talk to my wife, and while I explain it to her the answer comes to me, once in a while she actually helps me. Note : She doesn’t like computers much

  2. Good advice! I may not have a plant ;-) , but I do find the act of sitting down and writing out the problem, either as a temporary document or e-mail to myself, has enabled me to clear my thinking on problems many times.

    Also, I often find sketching out a problem as a diagram, often helps as well; Relationships between various entities often become clearer this way, especially for I.T. Systems troubleshooting.

  3. People laugh, but that’s what I use my cat (Pixel) for. I go sit on the couch and hash out programming ideas with her.

  4. Lol, I suppose anything or anyone that doesn’t understand what you’re talking about would do, the simpler you have to make your explanation the more likely you’ll see the root of the answer yourself.

    I must admit, Caleb (our cat) has been subjected to the occasional discussion on GUI layout or coding problems! He’s a good listener, the only back-chat is a very soothing purr!

    Glenn, you’re right about diagrams too, I’ve often found myself moving a few objects around in omnigraffle trying out different patterns and connections. Often helps solidify a plan pretty rapidly.

  5. I (heart) my whiteboard for doing graphs. I find that getting away from the computer helps me think more clearly when trying to solve problems, and the whiteboard retains state nicely.