# How to think about physics? / How to approach a difficult problem?

How I currently approach a difficult problem:
-draw a diagram
-list out all the given variables and "solve-for" variable
--use variables to match to a formula ("oh they didn't give the time, I should use the formula V^2-V0^2 = 2*a*(S-S0)," or "I have a, t, and V0, and assuming S0 is 0, I can use S = a/2*t^2 + V0*t +S0)
--if I have two unknown variables, I think whether or not I could relate one of those variables in terms of the other

You obviously have a different mindset for maths than for analyzing literature. How to I become better at thinking about physics?
Sometimes how things relate don't jump out at me. And are there better ways to approach a problem?

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ex:

## Homework Statement

A student drops her textbook from the top of a roof. It passed a distance of 1.4 m in .02 s (from the top of a window to the bottom). Find the distance from the top of the window to the top of the roof.

## Homework Equations

1. v = a*t + v0
2. S - S0 = Vbar*t
3. S = a/2*t^2 + V0*t + S0
4. V^2-V0^2 = 2*a*(S-S0)

## The Attempt at a Solution

Thought process:
"I have S, t, and a. I should find the velocity. I use equation 3 and make sure whatever I put in is consistent/makes sense. (-1.4 = (-5)(.02)^2 + 0t + S0 is not consistent, because I plugged in the initial velocity at the time 0 s, right before she dropped the book)
If I have the time, I could find the distance. If V = -69.9 and a = -10 it took... 6.99 s. I have most of the variables for E3. I plug it in, and I find the top of the window is -244.3. The total distance is then 244.3."
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As you can see, I employ a method of "find the easily found unknown" hoping it will lead to the wanted unknown. I think that's a trait of my maths mindset.
So how do I get better at thinking about physics? TIA. Hopefully this isn't a weird question.