Gamification: the fun way to mastering productivity

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You hunker down to get some work done, with everything prepped for a productive session.

You pick up your pen, put it to paper, and then…

“I don’t want to do this.”

“This is going to be boring.”

“I wish I could be playing video games or something.”

Instant thoughts of loathing come into play, and it’s so fast that you don’t even realize your procrastinating.

You wish you were doing something else, something fun… Like television, internet, or best yet – video games. Well what if I told you there was a way to combine the allure of video gaming with the productivity of working?


You dread doing your work

It’s easy to fall off the productive path well before even doing a single task, and it’s because you know it’s going to be “work”, in other words boring or hard.

What does this cause you to do? Procrastinate.


You treat work like work

Your problem is the perspective you take when it comes to work. You see it as a hassle, a chore, a bore, anything but something you’d like to do. This is causing you procrastinate way before any work even needs to be done.


You need to “gamify” things

There’s a neat solution if you like gaming, and it’s called gamification. What’s gamification? It’s where you treat your work sessions like a video game.

In videogames, progress is always explicitly shown. When you get stronger, you “level up,” which shows you’ve progressed. Video games reward you with level ups after winning several small battles, and it’s these small battles that prepare you for the “boss” battles.

With gamification, you treat your small accomplishments (e.g. completing a task) as if you just won a battle. You then give yourself points until you “level up” in real life. Once that happens you can reward yourself, maybe with candy or a movie trip – whatever works for you.

There are different methods and tools online that make gamification easy, We’ve got some of them listed here for your viewing pleasure.


How to gamify your productivity

If you’re interested in gamification but don’t know where to start, try out these tips. They’ll give you the feeling of gaming without the hassle of trying out some new app.


1. Set up a point/reward system


Point Rewards


The basis of gamification lies in the point/reward system. You go from battle to battle earning experience, and once you get enough experience you earn a level.

It’s not that different from real life: you go from task to task earning experience. But with gamification, once you do enough tasks you get a reward.

First you need to set up a point system, for example:

    • 3 points for every task completed
    • 10 points for completing every task for the day
    • 50 points for completing every task assigned during a week

Not too complicated, right? That’s just an example, set up your own numbers for best results.

Next you need rewards as well, some examples:

    • 10 points for a piece of chocolate
    • 30 points to watch a movie
    • 100 points to eat out at a restaurant.

Of course it’s best to assign rewards that would motivate you personally. Afterwards, you just combine the two for a little gamification.


2. Track your progress


Track Progress


In a video game, you know exactly you’ve progressed since the beginning of the game. It’s explicitly displayed, usually as a level (e.g. level 12) or perhaps with statistics.

You can do this by simply marking down every task you complete and compare it to tasks that you don’t complete. You’ll know how productive you are and it’ll motivate you to work more when you see the incomplete tasks building up.

A fun way to do this is by using star stickers and placing them wherever you want to keep track. And when you fail to complete a task, you can use an X to mark it instead.

This is similar to the seinfeld’s Don’t Break The Chain method of productivity, which might work for you as well.


3. Race against the clock


Race Clock


A lot of games use time to pressure you to stay on the proper path. This keeps you focused on the goal at hand, as you don’t want to fail because you weren’t able to stay in time.

This tip is already popular actually, and can be done with the Pomodoro or any other basic timing technique. But when combined with the other tips, it can elevate the experience of gamification far more.


Tools for gamification


Tools Gamification


If you’re interested in an app that automatically gamifies things for you, then here’s some you might be interested in.


1. HabitRPG – Desktop, iPhone, Android

One of the most popular apps is HabitRPG. It takes the core aspects of RPG’s (Role Playing Games) such as leveling up, defeating monsters (tasks), and earning rewards. You can even team up with other people, increasing your accountability and improving productivity in the process.


2. Life RPG – Android

Life RPG is similar to HabitRPG, so it’d come down to preference if you had to choose between the two.


3. EpicWin – iPhone

EpicWin is a simple, streamlined app so you can get gamified without any hassle. You can choose one of three avatars (two more available on purchase), and earn loot and other prizes as you overcome your tasks.


4. TaskHammer – Android

TaskHammer is even more simple than EpicWin. You still get that great RPG element, but you can dive into it fast and without complication.


Over to you

What do you think of gamification? Does it work for you? Please leave your answer below, because we’d love to hear it 🙂

Photo credits: Rob Boudon, Hub, Titanas, John Christian Fjellestad & meddygarnet via Flickr

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