Interrupt yourself. Distract yourself. Do something else for a while. Put it on the back burner. Give it a rest. Take a walk. Shoot some hoops. Take a nap. Give yourself a Zen whack on the side of your head. Change your working hours. Work in a different place. Listen to different background music. Open the window and scream! Do something different! Anything!
These breaks in the routine are just that,... a chance to do, be or think laterally. Creating a pause allows that to happen. While you are doing something else, the problem continues to percolate just below consciousness, and frequently leads to "aha" experiences in unusual places... the middle of a movie, in a prayer meeting, while making love. Keep your handy-dandy pencil near-by and get your "aha" insight on paper. (Your lover will understand. Just say you were thinking laterally, and not to take it personally.)
While your APPLE prof was cooking the other day, squeezing garlic through a garlic press, it came to me. "Eureka! That's what I need to take all the soap shards left over from the big bars! Put them into a LARGE garlic press and squeeze them into one big new bar!" Then I looked everywhere to no avail. The "soap press" is an invention waiting to happen. You could make millions. Someone should do it. Why not you? Whataya gonna do after after you graduate, anyway?
EINSTEIN'S LONG BREAK ...Einstein's parents thought he was retarded because he barely spoke until he was nine, and then haltingly. When asked questions, he thought a maddeningly long time before answering. A teacher advised Einstein to drop out of school since he would never succeed. I suspect that he was just considering things from different perspectives.
"Every new idea looks crazy at first."
Alfred North Whitehead