Giving it a second thought

Some problems lend themselves to reexamination. A second, third or even fourth thought is productive, because our initial impulses might not reflect our best effort at understanding the nuances of the situation.

But many problems simply create more thoughts, without productive output. As we confront something that is unlikely to have a simple or productive way forward, it’s easy to go into a mental tizzy imagining solutions.

The art is understanding which sort of problem we’re facing. And devoting the right amount of thought (not less and definitely not more) to the situation we’re in. Spending cycles on categorizing the problem is probably more productive than wasting time on problems that don’t deserve our effort.