Update 4th Oct 2020

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When you want to power through your work there’s perhaps no better way to make it happen than to work on your mental agility. To get your brain in the right frame of mind why not take a look at a few of the puzzles and games that are guaranteed to give it a serious workout.


Coming all the way from Japan is the devilishly difficult Sudoku. You’ll have seen these little number grids explode in popularity a few years ago, to the point where they’re now always printed alongside the ever-present crossword in your Sunday paper. All you have to do is complete the grid by having the numbers 1-9 in every row, column, and 3x3 square. It may sound easier said than done, and as you ramp up the difficulty you’re sure to start working those neurones harder than you expected.

Don’t worry about racing against the clock for now, just get the satisfaction that comes from finally conquering a once intractable puzzle.


The age-old classics have been around for as long as time, but that doesn’t mean they’ve gotten any easier! Not only do they test your spelling, knowledge of synonyms and general knowledge, they also require you to think outside the box from time to time too.

As they’re common place in every newspaper you probably have one lying around the house or on your desk in the office without you even knowing about it. Perfect for giving your brain a quick sprint over your lunch break if you want to freshen things up. Just make sure you build up gradually to tackling those killer cryptic clues!

Rubik’s Cubes

These things exploded onto the scene way back in the 80s and haven’t looked back since. There may be all manner of tricky variants, but until you can solve the real thing with ease in a couple of minutes you’ll have loads of use for your cube. Not only will you get the satisfaction from solving it quicker and quicker, but you also get to exercise a fair amount of hand-eye coordination which is ideal for those of you looking for a little helping of mindfulness on the side.


No list of games and puzzles that can help boost your productivity would be complete without the game of all games. Chess is thousands of years old and has not only been a favourite pastime of many of the world’s great thinkers; it’s actually helped shape their intellects.

After just a few moves there are more patterns of play than there are atoms in the known universe. Perfect for those of you who want a game that is totally different every time you sit down to play. The great thing about chess is that you can play fast, slow, against the computer, or with a friend. It can be social pursuit or it can be something you do on the couch to fill an idle half hour.

Now that we’ve talked you through a few of the options out there all you need to do is pick your favourite, work hard, and then your work will reap the rewards. 

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