I need advice for tackling any coding problem faster, because my mind slows down to a crawl

Does anyone have any mental tips for a problem my mind has? It slows down to a crawl at the beginning of every coding exercise. The easy ones here are no exception.

I’ve been programming for years, but lately I take way too long in ANY coding exercise. At first I just freeze and it take minutes to just wrap my head around what I just read. I half-confidently write a few loops and debug lines - testing the waters, then I start thinking more clearly but well at it I keep assuming stuff early, ignoring facts and conditions, I hit a wall after a while, I waste time trying to fix it, but eventually start over… Wasting precious time.

I want to shorten my time spent on exercise because skill assessments are always time limited and I’m great at hyperfocusing for work but I need a couple hours warm-up staring at the problem. That’s a couple hours interviewers won’t give me when they just generate and mail a link to codingames or whatever platform.

I’d really appreciate any advice or thought

You might want to build your self-confidence and performance in a stressful environment by solving simple exercises for fun: Coding Games and Programming Challenges to Code Better

Started a first round to try that! It’s a good idea.

I just froze at the most simple exercise lol I don’t understand what they want at all. And that’s my life for the next hour.

My advice is NOT to spend less time on exercising.
You should spend MORE time to practise.

You did not say whether you can finally solve the puzzles. The general 1st priority is to write a program correctly. Solving it faster is a 2nd or 3rd or 4th priority in the learning path. You will gain speed naturally when you can achieve the 1st priority frequently.

Sorry, omitted to mention that: Yeah I always solve the puzzles.

I always eventually solve them. Either by luck or by research, finding scientific algorithms, learn to write them, etc. and hours later I make it. Maybe later if it’s something very difficult.
When the 10 min contests ended I immediately copy pasted to IDE and I continued working on it.

But the start is always really slow and overly “careful”. I don’t understand at all until I understand 110%. And that’s what I’ve been doing for several years.
I had to explain job interviewers how my brain works and landed jobs by showing I have the skills, I am productive but just not at burst speeds. For example, I don’t try to make the code as-short-as-possible. I expand and write it all very clearly. Finally when the code works for all cases, and if I have time over I begin simplifying the code.

There are upsides to work with being overly careful but but nowadays everything’s leaving the meeting rooms and we’re doing more of those job interviews remotely, with browsers and web solutions like this site. Sadly as soon as they show me the link and I see what type of puzzle site it is, I immediately I feel I’ll never make the cut. Against all recommendations about being confident, etc.

I think I picked up this mindset of scrutinizing, flipping over every sentence and ruminating for an hour before writing anything from studying literature at university. If they gave me 3 hours for a test, I spent one hour thinking it through, pencil down. Then I wrote everything I had to say and I spent the last 30 minutes proof reading. This way started consciously and now it’s the most natural way for me.

Obvious this doesn’t work in coding, worked great for meetings, requirement specifications, in project planning or larger solutions and stuff. But I neeeeeed some burst speed and so I’m thinking if someone has exercises to re-wire my stupid brain.

The world needs your talent in careful review/research of knowledge. Perhpas not many people can do it better than you could.

Adding speed? After programming for a decade I have a reservior of templates, useful functions, examples, algorithms and design patterns. For example, whenever I need to get 1000 primes I copy and paste from my functions store to get it done. If you feel you are slow in design, perhaps you should organize and reuse your useful design patterns.