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10 Reasons Why People Who Play Sudoku Everyday Are More Focused At Work

10 Reasons Why People Who Play Sudoku Everyday Are More Focused At Work

“Numbers maniac.” “Puzzle fiend.” “Sudoku junkie.” Anyone who regularly completes Sudoku puzzles at work has heard at least one of these taunts from peers who simply don’t understand the burning desire to fill boxes with numbers at least once a day. Well, it turns out that Sudoku bullies are missing out on the serious benefits this simple logic game provides. The next time a co-worker leans over and laughs at your well-worn Sudoku books, you can tell them all about these outstanding reasons Sudoku makes you better.

1. They Get Quick Breaks Throughout the Day

Though they don’t quite look it, those tiny boxes filled with numbers provide an outstanding opportunity to escape. It is well-established that the brain needs disruptions from monotonous work every hour or so, and a Sudoku puzzle provides a small, stimulating break anywhere, anytime. In contrast, those who don’t play Sudoku may engage in less wholesome habits, like smoking or eating, during their rest periods, which may contribute to poor physical and mental health.

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2. They Gain Self-Reliance and Self-Confidence

More than one person can work on a single Sudoku — but more often than not, it’s a one-player game. As a result, frequent Sudoku players must learn to trust their own skills, gaining confidence in their abilities to think quickly, logically, and decisively without reassurance from others.

3. They Filter Out Distraction

Like a basketball player on the free throw line or a surgeon in the emergency operating room, a Sudoku player is a master of ignoring commotion and focusing on the task in front of them. Because Sudoku is an inherently mental puzzle, players are unable to complete even a single quadrant when their attention is torn to other issues. Thus, it doesn’t take long for a Sudoku player to learn dedicated concentration.

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4. They Meditate on Numbers

It isn’t a stretch to say that math doesn’t come easily to most people. Still, regardless of their academic background, most Sudoku players have a self-taught math skill due to their frequent exposure to the numbers of the puzzle. Math is useful across disciplines; even content creators need math to calculate the worth of views, clicks, shares, and more on social websites to make online marketing more potent. Therefore, Sudoku is akin to remedial math — wrapped in an engaging puzzle form.

5. They Practice Structure and Organization

A single Sudoku is rigidly organized, with small squares making up larger squares to form a unified box. Moreover, to complete the game, players must place numbers in order. The entire puzzle is based upon structure, and often spending so much time in a strictly planned environment allows Sudoku lovers to organize their real worlds, too.

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6. They Silence Nagging Thoughts

During times of trouble (or just times of boredom) a person can be tormented with repetitive thoughts, like a catchy song playing on repeat or phrases of self-doubt. Fortunately, those who play Sudoku are able to banish such thoughts faster by focusing on a puzzle, according to a study from Western Washington University.

7. They Build Memory With Logic

Among aging adults, Alzheimer’s disease is a terrifying concern, but Sudoku lovers have nothing to fear. A study from University of California, Berkeley, found that Sudoku (as well as a number of other brain-stimulating games) could help thwart the development of mental disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia when they are played consistently over a lifetime.

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8. They Make Quick Decisions

In business, dallying over a decision is a recipe for failure, even if the right choice is made in the end. The modern world is fast-paced — which is ideal for decisive, clear-thinking Sudoku players. Hesitation is never rewarded in the game of Sudoku, so players must practice quick, resolute problem-solving which they can apply in the real world.

9. They Continue to Make Quick Decisions

Then again, a Sudoku player’s first instinct in the puzzle is rarely correct; still, a wrong answer is never a reason to give up. Sudoku lovers are nothing but dogged at locating mistakes and correcting them quickly, which gives them a further edge in the business world.

10. They Feel Accomplished

Fulfillment isn’t always about career or relationship success — sometimes it comes from the knowledge of a puzzle well-done. Completing one or more Sudoku puzzles every day leads to a sense of accomplishment and a persistent feeling of happiness that makes for a satisfied person more willing to engage in work and play.

Featured photo credit: rlmccutchan via flickr.com

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Last Updated on April 8, 2019

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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  1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
  2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
  3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
  4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
  5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
  6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
  7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
  8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
  9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
  10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
  11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
  12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
  13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
  14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
  15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
  16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
  17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
  18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
  19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
  20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
  21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
  22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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