I don’t think there’s anything new I can say about Wordle, the word game that has blown up in the last couple of months. Here at Atomic at the beginning of this year, after somebody mentioned they started playing it, our #wordle Slack channel grew to about one-third of the company actively sharing their results every day within a week.
The Factorio Mindset
Like many others, it’s become a part of my daily routine. I thought it might just stay a fun distraction, but I’ve found it’s actually been a bit more than that for me. I recently read a blog post about the video game Factorio, describing the “Factorio Mindset.”
Players get into a state where they start to see places within their game that could be automated, streamlined, and generally refactored. The article presents this positively, especially for programmers who could benefit from that mindset when working in code. In Wordle, I see a similar benefit for myself.
Wordle as Morning Routine
Wordle provides me with a simple, well-defined puzzle that I can solve to start my day. Sharing results motivates me to play every day. It’s also a low-stress activity to fill 20 minutes of my morning with. I’ve noticed, though, that solving this daily puzzle has helped me to get in a mood to solve more problems, typically in my work.
I’ve never had to worry about solving word problems day-to-day. But, simply solving a small problem is enough to kick off my day and motivate me to solve more problems throughout it.
I’ve always found it challenging to jump back into work each morning, where open problems from the previous day feel bigger and harder to approach. Wordle helps me ease into the mindset that helps me tackle my real work. I’m starting to appreciate it more as a crucial part of my mornings.
Even with the New York Times purchasing Wordle, I’m not certain that the game will maintain its huge popularity in the long term. I’m also sure I won’t share my results forever. But playing each day has shown me the benefits of a simple challenge every morning to get me going each day. Maybe I’ll shift to crosswords or sudokus as time goes on. However, I’m certain that I’ll continue to use games like Wordle to help me enter that problem-solving mindset each day.