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If you are struggling with a problem there’s a good chance that it won’t go away in a hurry, so you can afford to take a week off from worrying about it.

Starting now (or at some pre-appointed time in the next couple of days), do nothing whatsoever to solve the problem. This includes thinking about it. If it comes to mind – as it surely will – distract yourself by focussing on another topic or getting involved in a task.

Maybe coincidence, luck or fate will do the job for you and the problem will go away, or maybe it won’t, in which case all you get is a week off.

Footnote 1:

This only works if you’ve been trying to fix a problem. If you’ve been ignoring it hoping it’ll go away, reverse the exercise and get on with it.

Footnote 2:

If you are part of a couple and you both agree you have a problem, you could both agree to avoid discussing or thinking about it for a week. It might help to know that 68% of problems that couples argue about have no solution, according to John Gottmann.

 

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