[Question] Does anyone else sometimes “run out of gas” when trying to think?

Sometimes when I’m trying to think something through (like a social dilemma, or a chess problem, or a program I’m writing, etc) I have a pretty unpleasant experience that feels to me the way I imagine a car feels when it runs out of gas in the middle of the interstate. My thoughts screech to a halt, and I stop being able to make progress. If I try to force myself, my head fills with mental static. If I try to power through that, it builds into heavy psychological pain, and I burn through willpower insanely quickly. The only solution I know of is to give in and come back to the problem later.

I have two questions about this, and if you can only answer one of them you should feel free to ignore the other.

  1. Does anyone else experience this /​ Is this a universal human experience?

  2. Do you have any tips for dealing with it? Predicting when it will occur so I can schedule important work at other times, or taking steps that reduce how frequently it happens, or using some special hack to circumvent it when it’s already happening?

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