Life is too short to spend any time standing still. With the age of the Internet, nothing needs to slow down. There is always a way to be learning, exploring, and having fun. The Internet has also led to a globalized economy, where you are measured against anyone and everyone in the world. So with the ability to maximize your potential and the incentive of globalization to be the best version of yourself possible, you need an outlet for self-improvement. And I must say, there is no finer or more fun way of improving yourself than an escape room
1. Attention to Detail
The awareness you need while you are working through an escape room goes beyond the normal requirements of observation. Not only are you having to look at your surroundings more closely, you are also required to pay attention to what you have already seen. The rooms are only so large. That means that everything you have used or touched may be important. You have to remember where you found things, where you rested items, or if someone put something in their pocket. If you miss the smallest clue, you might find yourself out of time and out of luck. If you are not paying attention, you could break a lock, and throw off the entire game.
The more you train this aspect of your behavior, the more it will begin to slip out into other aspects of your life. You will find that you are generally more aware. With a better memory, and a keener eye for small details.
2. Time Management
With an average game time of 60 minutes, an escape room can show you how fast an hour can pass. Complex puzzles, strange items, and cryptic directions can cost a lot of time in deciphering and choosing a course of action. Trial and error is not an option in most rooms. You need to know why you are doing something, and what you think it will accomplish. There is no time for frivolity or distractions. If you want to escape, you need to manage your time well enough to allow for mistakes without losing forward momentum. Standing still is not an option.
If you are doing a lot of escape rooms, then you are getting in the habit of avoiding the unnecessary. With a streamlined focus on only what will achieve your goal, you become better at allocating time. Not only by acknowledging what is not useful, but also by learning to accept that time must be put aside to learn from errors.
3. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is one of those buzzwords that people throw around a lot these days, but very few seem to really know what it means. Escape rooms perfectly encapsulate critical thinking. In order to find your way out, you have to be able to think critically. Not recall facts from rote memorization, and not overanalyze to the point of inaction, but to look at your situation decisively and contemplate the best course of action. With only the information you have in front of you, which may be extremely limited, you have to solve riddles, learn to use items, think of where things may be hidden, and much more. Escape rooms have more than logic problems that a computer could solve. These are instances where you need to think critically.
The only way to get better at critical thinking is to force yourself to do it more often. That also means that you have to place yourself in unique and challenging situations. Escape rooms are one of the only safe environments that allow you to exercise this part of your brain while simulating real-life pressure. It is one of the few ways to practice thinking under pressure without the threat of catastrophic consequences, but enough stress to prepare you for the future.
One of the coolest things about escape rooms is that they are made for a group. In a lot of rooms, you can end up having to work with strangers. Getting along with friends in a high-pressure scenario can be difficult, but working on such complex tasks with strangers requires entirely different skills. You must learn to get a read on people’s strengths and motivations, as well as discern troublesome and unhelpful characters. Controlling, and even simply operating within a group is an invaluable skill. The only way to get better at it is by working with new groups of people as frequently as possible.
So often in life, we must get along with the world at large. Society runs on social interaction. You need to get people to do what needs to be done, and you need to work with those around you. Whether it is in a work environment, a shopping spree, or when you are looking for allies in a zombie apocalypse, understanding how to work as a team and cooperate will get you closer to your goals.
5 . Adaptation
Escape rooms are not always in your comfort zone. They will push you to think differently, and sometimes even force you to pick up a new skill on the fly. I once had to decipher Morse code to get a code for a 5-wheel alphabet padlock. But I had only ever used Morse for silent light based communication, so I had to figure out the subtle difference between the sound of a slash and a dot on the fly. Another time I had to use a borescope from an unfamiliar brand. It was a cheaper model that I am used to and was far less intuitive to use. But in an escape room, there is no time to kick yourself for not knowing something. There is only time learn, and do it quick.
With my locksmith and security background, I have a lot of experience with these tools, but I can only imagine how far ahead I would be in life if there had been escaping rooms when I was a kid. By having the access to these tools and a practical use for the skill, it opens up the possibility to become handier. And the more you learn to pick up skills on the fly, the faster you will be able to do it in the future. Once you learn to adapt and practice the art of adapting, learning new skills gets much easier.
If you have not tried an escape room, try one today. It is guaranteed to be a blast, as long as you find a high-quality escape room. You will see for yourself just how quickly your mind begins to fire on all cylinders. Tell your friends, and go in groups to help everyone in your life improve themselves. Share the joy and personal achievement of escape rooms today!
Ralph Goodman is a professional writer and the resident expert on locks and security over at the Lock Blog. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about keys, locks and safety. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.