In the technological age, distractions are everywhere. For those of us who are used to sitting in front of screens all day, whether for work, study, or leisure, we may find that our minds are prone to wander.
Cultivating the skills to focus on a task and see it through to completion has always been considered a virtue, and whoever said it couldn’t be fun? We have a visual puzzle for you that is perfect for testing not only your observational skills but your problem-solving abilities, too.
Whether you’re taking a quick break at work or killing time on your day off, test your attentiveness with this fun puzzle for netizens of all ages.
The puzzle, originally shared on apost, comprises a question and a number keypad. The puzzle is provocatively labeled “for smart people only,” and all you have to do is count how many number 3s you can see in the puzzle. Are you ready? Give it a try!
Allegedly, 93 percent of netizens who attempted to solve this puzzle got the answer wrong. How confident do you feel? Do you count yourself in the upper echelons of puzzle aficionados already, or are you a first-time puzzler?
When tallying the number 3s, suggested answers from other netizens have ranged from a measly eight to a hefty 16. How many 3s do you count? If you’re sharing an office, a living room, or an electronic device with a friend or colleague, consider sharing this puzzle with them and compare answers!
Are you satisfied with your answer? If so, it’s time for us to reveal the solution below.
The 3s hidden within the puzzle have been highlighted in pink; did you find them all? Many netizens will count the 3s in the phone number at the top of the puzzle, and some eagle-eyed puzzlers may notice the 3 on the keypad, too. But how many netizens also count the 3s hidden within the question itself?
The answer to the total number of 3s is 11!
Particularly in the age of social media and smart devices, we know that distractions are everywhere, but how, exactly, can puzzles such as this help to train our brains into being more attentive? Dr. Alex S. Pang, writing for Psychology Today, differentiated between two types of distraction: “hijacked” and “aimless.”
Pang explains that being hijacked occurs when your attention is captured by something “shiny,” like clickbait, in your peripheral vision. Being aimless, on the other hand, is an inability to focus—what Buddhists refer to as the “monkey mind.”
According to Pang, being aimless is constituted of three parts: you are not focused, you are not in control of your thoughts, and you are either focused on the wrong thing or nothing at all.
It is possible, however, to regain control of a wandering mind, as “you can move between these forms of distraction,” Pang says.
Are you an easily distracted person? Intentionally segregating your time and allowing short breaks for different activities, including puzzles such as this, could significantly improve your ability to resist distractions.
Whether or not you managed to obtain the correct answer, it’s the participation that counts! If you enjoyed this challenge, consider sharing it with family and friends.