During my summer vacation, I picked up crosswords as a new pastime. After all the pressure at work in June, I needed/wanted something that occupied my brain but at the same time wasn’t useful or productive in any way. It mustn’t feel like work.

I quite like the crosswords that Dagens Nyheter publish during the weekend.

They grade their puzzles on a four-step scale. By now, after weeks of practice, I can mostly finish level three crosswords on my own, only using a thesaurus or a crossword helper site for the last few weird words. The level four puzzles are super hard, and I wouldn’t get anywhere with those using just my own brain – I use every tool I can find, short of asking someone else to solve the clues for me. (Which you can actually do – I discovered there are forums on the Internet where you can ask for help with specific crossword clues.) And still it takes me several days to finish one, off and on, if I succeed at all.

Now I’m back at work. This week, two of the remaining 5 developers joined me in quitting (and two more are clearly heading towards the exit door as well). So the work we are now focusing on is transferring our knowledge about everything to the team in India who will be taking over after us, which means lots of meetings and lots of documentation. This is incredibly boring and I’m finding it hard to remain motivated. In the afternoon, having already spent hours on writing documents, I’m just sitting there, yawning.

To keep awake, I have actually started doing crosswords during work hours. Five minutes here and there, when I feel that I just cannot concentrate on yet another bullet list, makes a difference.