Set a Timer
If you don’t want to lose too much time to playing Sudoku, start with just 5 minutes. Seriously – set a stopwatch or the timer or the stove or microwave – give yourself five minutes and only five minutes. If you limit the amount of time you spend, it can help you focus your mind on playing Sudoku. Sometimes having some structure imposed on it – by a 5-minute timer – will give your brain the impetus it needs to make big improvements in your Sudoku skills.
Focus on a Single Row, Column or Square
An entire 9-by-9 Sudoku grid can be overwhelming. So instead of worrying about all 81 spaces on the grid, give yourself permission to focus on just one part of the grid – focus in and spend five minutes working on a single row, column or square. You might be surprised at how many spaces you can fill in five minutes if you shut out the other distractions.
Practice One New Technique for 5 Minutes
If you’re trying to learn new Sudoku techniques, such as the Number Pairs technique, give yourself 5 minutes to do nothing else but practice that specific technique. 5 minutes is a good amount of time to do some high-intensity “brain exercise” without getting fatigued.
Get a Fast Start
Some Sudoku players make the mistake of “over-thinking” and over-analyzing the Sudoku grid. They might be too cautious or too hesitant to place any numbers – and as a result, they never make any progress toward solving the puzzle. Using the 5-minute limit, give yourself permission to “go for broke” and get as fast of a start as possible on the Sudoku puzzle.
Check out this video for tips on how to get a fast start in Sudoku. You might find that the mental exercise of just placing as many numbers as fast as possible in 5 minutes – and then cutting yourself off after 5 minutes, whether you’re done with the puzzle or not – is a great way to get yourself to “loosen up” and make quicker decisions.
Playing Sudoku doesn’t have to consume hours and hours of your day – you might find that you can make big improvements in your Sudoku skills just from a few minutes per day of focused, dedicated effort.
5 minutes is more than enough time to jump start your brain, re-evaluate your Sudoku strategy, and develop a new perspective on how to view the Sudoku grid. So “take 5” and give yourself a new chance at solving Sudoku puzzles!
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