Do you love solving problems and coming to eventual conclusions that unlock the mysteries of the situation you were in?
In this article we’re going to talk about some of the best hobbies that involve problem solving to help give you an idea about how you can keep repeating that iterative process to deconstruct or simplify the task at hand.
This could involve puzzle-based hobbies or even practical problem-solving tasks such as coding for computers which requires you to visualize how best to solve a problem from your own angle.
For people who enjoy problem-solving, it’s often the process they enjoy the most rather than the end result upon reflection.
Of course, it’s great to win a prize or to witness the finished product, but in those moments where you’re racking your brain to come up with novel solutions or how to best finish the problem, you realize just how satisfying the whole process actually is.
Hopefully, if you’re stuck for inspiration (which is a problem within itself — the article is the solution) then you’ll enjoy browsing our comprehensive list of mind-boggling problematic hobbies.
Get Creative: 10 of the Best Hobbies That Involve Problem Solving
As we mentioned above, coding is one of the best hobbies for people who enjoy problem-solving, purely because it can be far-reaching and never-ending.
Coding inspires you to create and overcome your own problems, or get imaginative about situations that could be difficult but could also be made more efficient by your own ingenuity.
In its most vast sense, coding is like your own miniature universe where you can put all of the parts together mostly how you want, and are only influenced on a base level by fundamental attributes that are linked to the coding language itself (kind of like the laws of our own universe).
There are many different coding languages to get started with that will be able to solve different tasks better than others.
For example, HTML is a language for building pages on the internet and therefore is not as robust at complex mathematical problems as base-level languages like Python or C (#, ++, etc) are.
It’s important to understand what you want to do first — There is a wide array of coding languages you can learn which you can explore here.
Now that you have a better idea of what to pick it’s important to keep getting better at it which you can do through a free service like Codecademy.
In case you didn’t know, math can be classified as a hobby and is far-reaching within many specific tasks or pastimes that you can do for fun.
Math is similar to code, except it’s more practical for the real-world and has more immediate applications in the context of measuring, studying, estimating, and quantifying important data.
Coding can also do those things but is built on mathematical concepts and principles that require an extra layer of understanding that are often used for automation or machine programming rather than being as far-reaching as Math at a base level.
The great thing about math as a problem-solving hobby is that you can create your own problems to solve, or you can simply buy a book with mathematical problems inside that you can go through for fun.
You could also learn important equations that once you know allow you to predict the distance of objects or how fast they will fall and with what level of force.
Picking an area of study within math is a problem within itself as it depends on what interests you.
Most people go for something specific like algebra, or perhaps geometry, so they can niche down on an area of focus rather than reaching for all branches at once.
Just like coding, you will want a place to learn and practice your mathematical concepts. Khan Academy is a great place to do that where you can sign up for free and learn math as much as you want.
3. Game Creation/Development
Game creation is an off-shoot from coding as you can build your game in an engine that is dedicated to that purpose with a UI for easier application and implementation of your assets (character models, objects, maps, etc).
Many people use Unreal Engine which is specifically designed to create your own epic AAA game and is very far-reaching in terms of capability.
Udemy offers a paid course if you’re seriously interested in studying how to make a game within the Unreal Engine environment.
There are also other programs similar to Unreal, like Buildbox, that also offer the capacity to develop games in a dedicated program environment rather than having to code all from scratch.
With that said, if you’re seriously interested in becoming a game developer then you will definitely want to learn code first before you approach this endeavor as you will be handicapping yourself otherwise. Skip back to number one on the list for links and resources.
Game development is a brilliant way to solve problems as it requires you to consider many angles or viewpoints such as how to make the game fun to play over and over again, how satisfying or rewarding an experience it is, and whether it offers a sense of community for the gamer so they can make friends or interact with people.
4. Fiverr Gigs
If you’re good at something specific such as brand design, writing, music, and basically anything else you can market, then Fiverr is a great place to make some money on the side and to solve problems for your customers.
Fiverr is a website dedicated to gig-based jobs where you can market yourself and your wares for people to purchase.
Because they will often have specific requirements, it means you need to be practical about how you can offer an appropriate solution for your client.
This may fall outside of how you would usually do things which means you’ll really have to put your thinking cap on for how to solve the problem in the best way.
Similar to eBay, all you need to do is to create your advert with what you can offer, and people will be able to browse it and request specific services from you that you sell.
Woodworking is an interesting area of design that involves ingenuity, creativity, and the ability to solve problems in a way that can help you produce functional or practical items to use or sell.
It involves, measuring, geometry, angles, and many other mathematical concepts that can be applied in a myriad of ways to serve you in the best way possible.
Woodworking is similar to solving a puzzle except it can be done with multiple solutions. Many of them will work but one of the solutions will be the most optimal or efficient method of producing the end result.
Thankfully, woodworking has been around for thousands of years and has been optimized to allow you to learn already efficient techniques that can help you build your next product with relative ease.
On the flip side, we appreciate the ingenuity and creative approach to woodworking which is why it’s very fun to build something from scratch to see what you come up with.
Doing puzzles is about as on-the-nose as it gets when it comes to problem-solving hobbies.
It’s a task that is specifically designed to challenge your brain in many different areas such as logic, spatial awareness, reasoning, pattern recognition, and several other important deduction skills that help you solve the problem.
Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, and you can find plenty to do online for free (with a quick Google search) if you want, or you can buy a puzzle book that you can peruse at your leisure.
7. Home and Garden Design
Home and garden design are usually about how efficiently you can use the space around you or make it more impactful for the observer. Although some of this is relegated to the realms of the “eye of the beholder”, certain trends and styles are definitely more popular than others on average.
Redesigning your living space or garden area will require thorough planning, problem-solving, spatial awareness, and a good eye for consistency.
Humans like patterns and consistency so it’s important that you are mindful of this otherwise it can come off looking disjointed.
Truthfully, your home or living space could already look great but being able to redesign it works much like a very fun or engaging puzzle. Just know that it can be a costly endeavor so you may need some funds!
8. Video Games
Playing video games requires a wide variety of problem-solving skills and it’s best to think of it as more of a spectrum rather than something set in stone.
This is because there are many different game genres out there such as real-time strategy, first-person shooter, role-playing, and even games that harness the directness of puzzles themselves to increase the challenge of the game.
Not all video game genres will employ the same problem-solving tactics which is why you have to have a good level of intuition for some games (reactive), or a more logic-based approach for others.
The opportunities for solving problems within video games is almost endless, and even if you feel like you’ve completed one game then you can always play thousands of others.
Alternatively, you can get a games console that also has built-in gaming platforms that allow you to buy and download games from.
If your computer isn’t powerful enough, then we recommend getting a dedicated gaming PC to play on as this will make the experience far better and allow you to play more demanding video games.
9. Secondary Languages
If you enjoy problem-solving and traveling, then learning a second language will come in very useful when you’re next on holiday.
It can also come in handy when you want to talk or communicate with overseas communities online as they often have their own dedicated subsections for games and other interactive outlets that can increase your ability to meet a wide range of people.
Learning a second language can be challenging, especially after your childhood as our brain doesn’t retain the information as easily and is not as “plastic” (open to change) when we get older.
It’s not impossible though and some of the best advice is to learn the most common words first as well as immerse yourself in the language. You can do this through listening to music and watching movies in the new language.
For example, Wikipedia lists the most commonly used words in Spanish that can help increase your potential for conversation much more quickly.
This isn’t always the best solution though as you need practical examples too. We recommend downloading an audiobook for your chosen language, or alternatively, you can get an app like Babel that features audio and text of common phrases or expressions to help bring you up to speed.
Music production or learning an instrument features many aspects of problem-solving that you will need to implement to make good music.
Many people start out by learning popular chords that can be arranged to produce catchy tunes or jingles that help form the foundation of music creation.
Depending on the instrument you play, this may or may not always apply.
Making a song is a lot like solving a puzzle as you have millions of potential sounds at your disposal and thousands of different arrangements that can be selected to create the desired effect.
Truthfully, there’s not always a right way to do this and music is certainly open to experimentation. With that said, humans enjoy patterns and the ability to predict what comes next on a song which is why people often follow certain arrangements.
As with any hobbies, you should do music to create something you enjoy, rather than for other people.
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- Our Top 11 Hobbies That Involve Math and Numbers
Hopefully, you should now have a better idea of what tasks or hobbies involve problem-solving enough to get you started with something.
The bottom-line is that many tasks in life require a degree of problem-solving but the ones we’ve listed are more direct in how we apply ourselves and use our brain for deduction.
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You can also browse our ultimate list of hobbies for further ideas and inspiration of what to pick to do for fun and even to solve problems.