Tip #1: Have a Plan
There isn’t simply one strategy that is going to work all the time. Before you dive into a puzzle, it’s always a good idea to envision the bigger picture of the puzzle. Instead of jumping into the puzzle, create a plan and try to identify a good strategy on how to approach the puzzle in a way that will lead to a quick solution. Without a plan, chances for success are very slim.
Tip #2: Don’t Over Think
Often times when we are under pressure, we get overwhelmed and start to over think the problem. Our minds tend to go a million miles an hour, rather than simply following step by step. Don’t over think it! While some puzzles are trickier than others, they all have one thing in common- they have a solution. Try to think outside of the box and develop alternative ways of solving the problem rather than getting overwhelmed and panicking!
Tip #3: Look for Patterns
In order to solve a puzzle, you must look for certain clues or patterns within the puzzle. Rather than look for a complicated series of steps, try looking for a pattern to follow. By recognizing the pattern within the puzzle, it will help you get one step closer to reaching a solution. By analyzing the pattern and different aspect of the puzzle, you begin to see the manner in which the puzzle pieces interact.
Tip #4: Don’t Give Up
More often than not, when we get frustrated with a puzzle and don’t feel like we are able to reach a solution, we want to give up. We often hear people insist certain puzzles are “impossible” or “broken”. This is not true! Although a puzzle may be difficult, it has a solution and it is up to you to solve it. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking the puzzle is flawed. Take your time, look at the big picture, follow the patterns, and go step by step, but most importantly don’t give up!
Tip #5: Guess and Check
This is a classic technique many learn at a young age, but sometimes forget. While it may not be very efficient or reliable, sometimes it’s all you have to work with. One nice thing about this technique is the low level of effort it requires. It can be a great way to relax your mind. Moreover, its a fantastic strategy especially when it actually works.