Rubber-duck your way to clarity
Borrowing from the rubber duck debugging premise for coders, treat your brain like a huge compilation of code that isn’t working properly.
The idea behind rubber duck debugging is to explain your problem to, well, a rubber duck. To complete this experiment, take the same prompts from the journaling step. Instead of writing everything down, say it aloud – to the rubber duck.
Talking prompts for rubber duck debugging
1- I’m in a mental block about my work and it feels like…”
2- “I am trying to accomplish…”
3- “I want to accomplish that end goal because…”
4- “The work I am supposed to be doing is on…”
5- “The work I am supposed to be doing helps the end goal because it…”
The impact of talking through your mental block
The power of saying it out loud is that you not only think about the words as you prepare to say them, but you hear them in the real world once said. That gives you two opportunities – and two mediums – to digest, analyze, and think through your words and problems. You’ll often find a huge moment of clarity somewhere. People who do rubber duck debugging often report finding themselves saying “Oh, wait, I know what went wrong” before they even finish all the prompts.
If talking to a rubber duck feels a bit too weird for you right now, ask a trusted friend, team member, mentor, or coach to be your rubber duck. The benefit here is that because you just need them to listen, you don’t need to worry if they have relevant domain expertise. The person need only be someone you trust.