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ARTICLE

When Is the Best Time to Play an Audio Puzzle?



I am not a doctor and this article does not contain any medical advice, treatment or diagnosis (see disclaimer).


Audio puzzles are quite unique from other forms of puzzles, especially in the way they are performed and I particularly like the fact that I can do other tasks whilst listening to them and that they can allow me to have my eyes and hands available for other tasks which wouldn't be the case if I was playing with a physical puzzle or reading a puzzle book. Audio brain teasers have other advantages too such as I can take them with me easily pretty much wherever I go as they can be for example played and stored on my phone and this won't be an extra item that I am carrying as I have my phone with me at all times anyway. Another advantage is audio puzzles can be paused and then returned to whenever I feel like it and these advantages of audio puzzles mean they are often very easy to fit into my daily routine as they are usually always readily available to me to have a go at as they are on my phone that is always on me and the fact I can pause and return to them allows me to have a go at them even when I have little time to do so knowing if I have to stop in the middle of a challenge it is easy to come back to the point I stopped/paused it. An audio puzzle could even take the place of some of the music that I listen to as I listen to a lot of music with my headphones during the course of the day but an audio puzzle could be more productive and possibly even a more fun way for me to pass the time. Audio puzzles require that I concentrate like all other puzzles do to varying degrees but they also require that I visualize what is being described and asked of me and therefore I will need to be pretty alert to do this so doing this at a time of day when I am most alert will be very beneficial if I want to be able to perform at my optimal level for this type of challenge that demands this kind of mental skills. There are only so many hours sometimes just minutes in a 24 hour day in which I will have the opportunity to do audio puzzles when taken into account that I sleep for a large portion of it and the period I am awake will be mostly filled with obligations that I have such as work. Therefore finding the optimal time to have a go at a challenge like an audio puzzle can be tricky as it needs to be a time that I have no other obligation to take care of and ideally when I am alert and motivated.


First thing in the morning can be for me a difficult time to listen to audio puzzles because it is for most days of the week a hectic time in which I am in a hurry to get to work and this means there simply isn't the time or precious little of it to squeeze in this activity and make it worthwhile or enjoyable. Also doing a puzzle after I have just got up when my thinking can be quite muddled and my brain scrambled is not a particularly good idea and I usually have to give myself a little time to be able to wake up and think straight. How I feel when I wake up can differ from day to day as it can sometimes take a long time for me to feel awake and be able to think clearly whilst other times I am wide awake from the moment I wake up and this is usually dependent on how much sleep I have gotten and the quality of it. When I struggle to wake up in the morning I often have a coffee to remedy this and because this usually has such an immediate successful impact on me I would then be alert enough to have a go at an audio puzzle after having drunk the coffee no matter how tired I was before it. The alternative to coffee for waking me up in the morning that seems to have worked well for me is to go outside in the fresh air and go for a quick walk or jog however when the weather is nasty it can be difficult to motivate myself to do this and this alternative does take longer than making a cup of coffee which I don't always have time for in the morning. During the winter months, it is dark outside in the morning when I get up which can make me feel even more tired and demotivated and therefore even less likely to want to do an audio puzzle at this time. If I am pressed for time in the morning then attempting an audio puzzle on the commute to work or whilst preparing and eating my breakfast may be the best way I can fit one in or I could try to get up a little earlier than I normally do and it would only have to be 15 or 20 minutes earlier as this is more than enough time to make doing an audio puzzle a potentially worthwhile and enjoyable experience. How much time I have to do an audio puzzle before lunch or whether I can find time to do this is dependent on my circumstances that day such as if am at work, how I travel to work and when I am working how busy I am at work or how concentrated I need to be on the work. It is very important that listening to an audio puzzle doesn't impact my job performance and therefore the challenge I am listening to shouldn't be too distracting or demand too much thought that I can't concentrate on what is of most importance which is carrying out my job as I obviously wouldn't want to lose it. How I travel to work will decide how much time I have to listen to puzzles as I have in the past played them out loud in the car or listened to them via headphones on the bus or when I have walked to work and when I go by bus or even more so when I walk I have even longer to listen than I would by car even though the car is best for comfort. When I am not at work and have the whole morning free then I find it best to wait until I feel alert and have had some breakfast and something to drink and I feel I then have the concentration and the energy to attempt an audio puzzle and by doing this it should make it more fun and productive activity. However, doing an audio puzzle right before lunch I find is often a bad idea because I can often be very hungry at this point of the day and thinking of what I am going to eat and therefore I will be distracted from the challenge of the puzzle which depending on the difficulty of it may require a lot of concentration which won't be there if am hungry.


By the time afternoon comes around, after lunch, I am normally very alert and this is also usually the time that I will feel the most alert during the entire day especially a working day as after work it will be evening, and by this time I am usually mentally exhausted from what I have done at work that day and have little motivation do anything strenuous either physical or mental at this point. So as the afternoon is the period of the day I will most likely be most alert or be the most alert it would be therefore the ideal time to push myself and try the more difficult or challenging audio puzzles as I am more likely to be able to solve them when I am at my most alert. My lunch break is the largest break I get during the day at work and sometimes the only break I get in the afternoon at work and it is an hour long so there is plenty of time within this break to have something to eat and then have a go at a puzzle without the need to rush as having to rush puzzles is not conducive to solving or enjoying them. Afternoons can also often be the brightest or the sunniest part of the day and this does have an impact on my mood and motivation as when the weather is nice and the sun is shining I am often in a better mood as a result of this and I can be more motivated to do things which could be an audio puzzle that can be conveniently done outdoors so I can really enjoy that nice weather and get the full effect of it. An audio puzzle could be done whilst I am eating lunch or it might be better to wait until I have eaten and am full and re-energised as doing a puzzle on anything less than a full stomach can sometimes make me irritable and therefore it is less enjoyable and I am more likely to give up as a result if it is tricky or gets complicated. The same as doing an audio puzzle before lunch doing one before my evening meal might not be a great idea as the concentration will be difficult to achieve when thoughts will likely be on food and when motivation is going to be flagging and when I am possibly tired after what could have been a long exhausting day up to that point, especially on a working day.


The evening is the period of the day when I have the most available free time to indulge in leisure activities such as, in this case, an audio puzzle as I have finished work by this time. However, if I have had a long day at work it can be difficult for me to not want to just completely switch off when I get home and simply watch TV so motivation and feeling tired can be the biggest issues for me when it comes to this time of day. It might be an idea to get into a regular routine in order to combat this motivation problem I can have at this time of day so that after a while of committing to the routine I will just do the activity that I want to do in the evening, in this case, an audio puzzle automatically. Alternatively or additionally to be more motivated to do an audio puzzle in the evening I could try to do it with somebody else such as a friend or family member to make it more fun as the more fun something is the more likely I am to do it or stick at it and as I would be doing this in the evening it will be more likely that friends and family members are available at this time also. I prefer not to, as mentioned earlier, do puzzles just before breakfast or lunch and the same applies to the evening meal which is almost always my biggest meal of the day which therefore should hopefully give me a big boost with plenty of energy to tackle an audio puzzle right after having eaten the meal. If I have been doing something mentally or physically demanding all day which can be the case even on a day that I am not at work and I am feeling tired as a result of this then it might be best and smart to give my mind and body a rest at this point of the day and let it recover and just relax as engaging in a mental challenge such as an audio puzzle when I am in this condition could be an unpleasant, fruitless and irritating experience especially if the audio puzzle presents a difficult challenge(s). My commute from work just as the commute to work is an ideal time to fill what can be sometimes boring and often unproductive period of the day for me into a fun and potentially productive one with an audio puzzle and the traffic at this point of the day in the evening when most people are returning from work can be slow with possible traffic jams so can be many times plenty of time to fill. The period of time just before I go to sleep when I am in bed could be another ideal opportunity to try an audio puzzle until I am ready to sleep but I just have to find one that offers a not too difficult or strenuous challenge as I am usually pretty tired verging on sleepy at this point. Some audio puzzles come in the form of a story with a question(s) or brain teaser(s) related to that story so this could be sort of a bedtime story as well as being a puzzle that may help me to doze off. If I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep then an audio puzzle could be a good way to fill this time up until I feel tired again and this activity can be done in the dark as doing it with the light on may keep me awake and stop me from getting back to sleep


In conclusion, the afternoon or late in the morning for me are probably going to be the optimal times to listen to audio puzzles in terms of being alert and when I am likely to be least tired which means I should be able to perform an audio puzzle at my optimal level but the evenings is when I will likely have the most amount of free time at my disposal or any free time full stop in order to tackle an audio puzzle. So ultimately what time is best for me to take on an audio puzzle will depend on my itinerary for that specific day and that I will likely have to fit one into my daily routine as best as I can but at least with this form of the puzzle, it will be readily at my disposal all day as they are on my phone for when I have free time to have a got at them.

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