This one is not a secret, but I’m an avid videogamer, also an avid procrastinator. If any of those two apply for you, this post is just for you. If not, then this could be a wonderful opportunity to add some fun to your to-do list.
Aren’t games a way to lose time?
Yes, if you just launch your favorite game, I bet you will lose at least an hour, but you should be learning something.
I’m not talking about getting things done with a game. I’m talking about adding some game elements to your productivity habits to become even more productive.
If you (or your kids) own any of the latest generation consoles or games, you may have seen that the game rewards you with something for achieving certain conditions. Sometimes it’s just because you overcame a level (like you would a overcome a fear), sometimes it’s because you spent time doing something that it’s not part of the main story of the game.
In any case, you get rewarded for doing something, and usually this keeps gamers focused and happy. Maybe your mind is already catching my drift.
To-do list gamification 101
This is actually a pretty simple idea, you just need to make your to-do list fun! Of course, that is easier said than done.
Since I’m not sure how do you organize your life, and probably you are following your own ways, the best thing I could do is create a framework that can be applied to any productivity system.
Remember the idea here is to add rewards, the rewards can be anything as long as they motivate you. Here are a couple of examples:
- Reward yourself with better equipment: Have you seen all those games where the hero completes a quest and gets a better sword or armor? Let’s say you completed a wonderful illustration or design, why don’t you reward yourself with better brushes or a new plugin to get your work done faster.
- Reward yourself with entertainment: Some games reward the player with a peaceful time to check on the story and get around the game. Why don’t your reward yourself with a night out with friends, maybe a movie or a great book. I reward myself with time to play videogames, ironic don’t you think?
- Reward yourself with wisdom: The hero may have traveled to a distant land to learn the secret to overcome his foe. You can leverage the same idea, reward yourself with training to improve on your current skills, I do this really often.
- Reward yourself with rest: back when I played MMO games, I used to get reward myself with a good rest at the town just to chat with friends after a big quest. You could reward yourself with a nice tea or coffee at your local shop. A small nap is a good option.
Those are just some ideas of how to reward yourself for the tasks in your to-do list. But let’s be honest, getting your bed done is not as hard as completing that project or writing a book. So we add another level to our gamification process.
The bigger the dragon the bigger the reward
Over at the studio with my brother, each Wednesday we reward ourselves with a good movie at the end of the day. Why? Because we did everything right up until that point, we completed our tasks and we can take off 2 hours without fear.
But when we really do something big, like completing a project for a client or doing something that required more effort, we reward ourselves with a good meal or a party on Saturday.
This has an added bonus, we enjoy more working together with this kind of rewards. It gives us a relaxed environment to bond as a real team and plan a little bit of what we want to achieve on the next following weeks.
Is gamification good for you?
This is a personal answer, for me it is. I even use a to-do list app that follow this same principles.
I also know a lot of people that doesn’t like the idea, in the end it’s up to you. It’s not the end of things if you don’t like it, but it may be worth the try for a week or so and see if it fits you.
Just remember, you are still doing some serious work, don’t reward yourself for stuff that is not on your to-do list.
Want to find more tips and tricks I use to improve my life? Just subscribe to our Warrior Dojo, it’s free and you get our Warrior Manual for free!