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    If you can’t do make progress one way, stop and see if you can make progress another way. That’s one good approach and definitely one of the tools I’ve seen a lot of physicists and engineers use.

    Another useful piece of advice is change the direction you’re approaching the problem with, and that change can be in any number of ways. Look at how people’s preconceptions might have prevented a solution before. Consider that people might have right in ways they didn’t expect. Consider what solving the problem might give and how to get it other ways instead, etc,

    Another approach is sleeping on the problem, scanning all information keeping your mind open, avoiding any certainty that you can’t solve the question.

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      Sounds like my own advisor.