April 12, 2021•190 words
Reading time: 1-2 min
The "rush" from successfully solving a difficult problem is a highly effective process indicator which motivates you to continue working on whatever you are doing.
Encountered this phenomenon just an hour ago. I was stuck on a difficult assignment (one on statistics). I could hear my head exploding when I first read the question scenario. I was stuck on it for perhaps half an hour, before I took a 5-10 minute break (see Pomodoro timer, although I don't strictly adhere to it). Afterwards, utilising productivity by procrastination, soon after I returned to work, it hit me. The glowing idea lightbulb appeared above my ahead (and then dropped onto the floor, shattering and spraying glass everywhere) and I was able to solve the problem. Immediately following that, I got a massive gratification rush and wanted to continue.
(To my future self)
I'd like to look into what happens in your brain when you successfully solve a difficult problem; what causes this gratifying feeling? Surely it's related to a "reward" system and some sort of pleasant chemical (neurotransmitter) release. Is this a good "positive feedback" loop for work?