Escape rooms can bring together family, friends, or even strangers on a quest to solve a puzzle. However, with any puzzle, you need flawless concentration to solve it effectively. As a member of a team with a goal of escape in mind, it’s critical to do your part in ensuring success.
To help you hone your mental acuity, we’ve pulled together a few strategies that you can put into practice as you solve the mystery at hand. With a little preparation, you can improve your concentration in escape rooms and become a legendary master of mystery!
Before the Escape Room
Before visiting the escape room, prepare your brain to concentrate.
Undergo Cognitive Training
Engaging in specialized training will enhance your concentration when solving an escape room-like puzzle, as you’ll need to employ both practical knowledge and creative problem solving to beat the buzzer. Cognitive training touts many benefits. As you train your brain, you’ll notice an improvement in your ability to think quickly, find patterns, and visualize solutions.
You don’t need an expensive class or app to improve your concentration and cognitive skills. Instead, try out a few of these techniques:
- Play strategic board games like chess, checkers, Risk, or Civilization.
- Try the daily Sudoku game in the newspaper.
- Dive into a virtual escape room or other video game that requires puzzle-solving skills.
- Take on a challenging crossword puzzle.
Each of these cognitive training activities sharpens focus, increases memory recall, and boosts the tactical skills you need to solve an escape room.
Improve Your Memory Retention
In an escape room, memory and information recall is crucial. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with memorization. But it’s a skill you can improve with a little practice.
- Make a list of items all belonging to the same category (any category you want). Study it for a few minutes and then try to recall the exact order. As you get better and better at memorizing, ask your friends to challenge you with their own lists.
- Play memory matching games, like these great options from Tuco Games.
- Look carefully at visually complicated images and try to memorize the details. Try drawing the image again at a later date and try to recall as many details as possible.
During The Escape Room
Once you enter an escape room, it’s easy to get flustered when facing all the different mental obstacles blocking your victory. You can improve concentration by actively listening, thinking critically, blocking out other distractions, and practicing memory retention methods. But there are also specific actions you can take in the moment to improve your chances of victory.
Keep the Crucial Details in Mind
You do not have to rely solely on your brain’s memory to keep everything straight when in an escape room. Consider bringing a notebook and pen with you to write down notes about the clues that will have you solve the puzzle accordingly (if the game master allows it, of course).
If you do not have those supplies on your person, you can try mnemonic devices to remember key details. These help with memorization by turning larger pieces of information into more manageable chunks.
For example, let’s assume the team found a telescope, an aardvark, and a pencil symbol on various objects scattered around the room. You can think of the word “TAP” to reinforce the order in which you found the clues.
A mnemonic device could also be a sentence incorporating the hints, such as “The telescope saw an aardvark with a pencil.” Your brain will probably find it easier to remember important details if they are kept in smaller, more manageable chunks rather than lists of details.
Active listening is the process of putting conscious effort into focusing on what another person is saying, with the intention of understanding exactly what is being said.
An escape room can have many pieces to the puzzle that you and your friends or family members have to put together into a single cohesive idea. Listen to each person’s input because any observation can help solve the puzzle. Take in the information with intention, and you’ll be more likely to remember relevant details later.
Critical thinking involves piecing together facts and drawing conclusions about them. If you do not know something, you can make educated inferences that may be the key to solving a puzzle.
As you listen to each clue and the interactions amongst the team, think critically to piece everything together in a mindful way. By reading between the lines and thinking outside of the box, you may spot the details that help your team reach victory.
Block Out Other Distractions
Because an escape room typically takes place in a completely new environment (with the added pressure of a ticking clock), there is going to be a ton of information that your brain tries to process simultaneously.
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Additional distractions do not bode well for your success, so anything you do to block them out will prove helpful.
This can include:
- Putting your smartphone on silent or turning it off completely.
- Intentionally not thinking about life worries (that you can’t even address while in the escape room) as you complete the puzzles.
- Closing your eyes and taking a moment of quiet to remove distractions and get your mind ready for the exercise.
Practice Makes Perfect
Of course, the best strategy to improve your concentration in escape rooms is to take on these challenges as often as you can. Try different types of escape rooms in your area, as the masterminds behind the games often implement a wide range of methods and tricks to stump contenders. With each escape attempt, you’ll improve your problem-solving process and expand your knowledge of tricky tactics you might encounter on future endeavors.
If you’re worried about finding a team to practice with, the Morty app can help you connect with other escape room enthusiasts in your area. You’ll have virtually limitless opportunities to take on more brain-bending challenges.
FAQs About Improving Concentration In Escape Rooms
As you learn ways to improve your concentration before hitting the escape room, here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Do escape rooms improve cognitive skills?
An escape room experience is a great way to train your brain! They force you to exercise your memory, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills in a novel environment.
How do I solve an escape room with my team?
Take a note from Scooby-Doo: You and your team should split up and search for clues. If you all focus on one part of the escape room, you will not get too far in solving it quickly. From there, it’s all about clear communication and deduction skills.
Final Thoughts About Concentration In Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are intense, challenging, and plenty of fun, especially when your team is able to solve the final puzzle. By working to improve your concentration in escape rooms, you can work to ensure more regular success in these ever-popular puzzle games.