Last year my dad taught me how to play Sudoku. I never bothered with it before. But I like it. So does DH. Each morning, I walk outside to retrieve the newspaper and put the Front news section at my spot on the table, and DH gets Local and Sports. The other section has our daily Sudoku puzzle, so it gets folded back and I make a couple copies of the puzzle. As the week goes on, the rating of the puzzle gets more difficult and so today it was medium difficulty. We each bring a copy of the puzzle to work and begin our day with some logic, calm thinking and along the way develop some smarts. Yup, playing games at work makes me smart. Except when I don't feel smart. Yesterday, for like the second time ever - neither one of us could get the puzzle correctly. Of course we finished it with some guess work (which is a big NO NO), and when I checked it against the answers that were in today's paper there were many many mistakes we both made. It didn't make me feel smart.
When I work a puzzle I'm confident enough that my logic is sound, so I use a pen. I write in tiny numbers under some fields of what might be in that square but I can't be sure yet. And I work my way around with different strategies - process of elimination, counting squares, simple puts and some logic that I don't have a name for. Anyway, when I get to a point where I'm stuck and have to "guess" between two logical choices - I switch to pencil. As you can see in the picture, I did most of the Sudoku in pencil today, but I did manage to get it after 45 minutes. DH got it too. Now we can get on with our real work since our minds have been sharpened for the day.
I'm not usually a person for games since I think they are a waste of time. I don't have any game apps on my devices, I don't play computer games or have any TV devices to play games. But is a puzzle really a game? It can be. And they are kind of a waste of time if you spend too much time on it. I think a game should provide a challenge to your brain or body, something that you get better at the more your do it, and something that improves you in some way. Are you more logical after playing your game? Are you smarter? Do you have better coordination skills? Does it make you calmer or less anxious? Can you think faster? Can you figure things out now that were difficult to comprehend before? If so, then playing your puzzle or game is not a waste of time. But if you can't say you've noticed any improvements in your behavior, then maybe you need to pick another activity to waste your time on.
Get Your Game On. Whatever it is.