Focus and attention span have been in steady decline in the digital age, thanks in large part to the multitude of devices and applications we are constantly using and that distract us with pings and vibrations.
Your brain, while not a muscle, requires similar training in order to keep it high performing. Below are some brain games to make you sharper and more focused on the job.
Word games help improve your linguistic dexterity and can also sharpen your written and verbal communication skills. There is a multitude of word games available online, but one of the best and most time-tested is undoubtedly Scrabble. Scrabble forces you to rely on your verbal intelligence to create combinations of words to win points and can be played online or offline.
If you are playing online--perhaps on your lunch break or on public transportation--there are great tools, such as Unscramblex.com, to help you build combinations and score bigger points faster. Doing this will also help you add words to your vocabulary, making you a better reader and writer.
Sudoku might seem like something only old people play, but there is a reason they like it: it keeps your brain sharp. Sudoku puzzles, whether you play them online or in one of those little booklets you get at the airport, are great ways to workout your logical and analytical thinking skills as well as your working memory.
Sudoku forces you to think multiple steps ahead and to manage as many different scenarios and outcomes in your head at the same time as you possibly can. While it won’t make you more intelligent, games like Sudoku train your brain to think in certain ways, including extended periods of focus and concentration, that you can then apply to your job.
Trivia games might ask you to name as many countries as you can in a set amount of time. They might use images, or partial images from popular culture, to test your visual memory. You could play classic Jeopardy or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Trivia games not only force you to rely on your short and long-term memory recall, but they can help you pick up bits and pieces of information that you can then employ in your daily life, personal or professional. They can also improve your understanding and contextualization of information, which is always helpful and makes reading more pleasurable, and therefore easier to do for extended periods of time.
Logic games and puzzles aren’t just stocking stuffers. They’re also great ways to improve your sharpness at work. Logic games and puzzles can also be played online, so it’s not like you need to keep any weird contraptions on your desk or in your bag. There are entire websites dedicated to logic problems with a range of difficulties for you to bookmark and reference.
Instead of spending your break on your phone scrolling through social media, why not do something stimulating and beneficial with your time and improve your logical and analytical thinking. If you don’t work your mind out like this, it really is quite astonishing just how much your thinking improves once you start putting your brain through its paces.
Focus and productivity go hand-in-hand, and one of the major concerns for many organizations that have arisen and will continue to be front and centre during the work from home revolution is will people be able to stay motivated and on-task while working remotely. For some people, focus and sharpness come naturally. For others, it’s something to work on each and every day. Keep the above brain games in mind when you find you have downtime during or after working hours and keep your mind on point and on task.