Games to Get it Done

If you’re human, you’re familiar with the struggle with getting things done. This is especially true of work with no real deadlines, such as getting regular exercise or clearing out your inbox. After all, no small children or animals will be sacrificed because you didn’t get your workout in.

So, how can you stop procrastinating on doing these really important, but not necessarily urgent things? Chances are you’re already beating yourself up for not having gotten it done already, and at the same time anticipating grueling, painful hours as you force yourself to get the task done. Ugh.

But, what if getting tough things done could be fun? Or, at the very least, more fun?

Make it a Game

Games are meant to be light-hearted, fun, and challenging. You can incorporate games into your most difficult tasks to make them more exciting and engage your competitive and fun-loving spirit.

Here are four ways to gamify your productivity:

  1. Set-up a challenge. Choose an increment of time that feels both doable and challenging for the task at hand. For example,
    1. A 28-day challenge to get up at 5 AM every day.
    2. A 7-day challenge to write 500 words a day. 
    3. A 14-day challenge to make 14 calls a day.

Then, create a visual chart to track your progress and if you love the competition, invite a friend or colleague to join in so you can keep each other motivated.

  1. Do Pomodoros. A Pomodoro is one round of 25 minutes of work, followed by a short break. Set a goal of doing one to four Pomodoros and draw a square for each round. Set your timer for 25 minutes and get to work. Check off a square as you complete a Pomodoro.
  2. Give yourself rewards. What do you most want to do to procrastinate? Have a chat with a friend? Watch your favorite show? Or, even do house chores? These are great rewards to set-up for yourself. Once you complete a Pomodoro or complete the task at hand, you’ll get to ______ (fill in the blank with whatever feels like a motivating reward to you). This is so simple and effective.
  3. One-Touch. This is a fun game to play while tackling your inbox. The objective of the game is to touch each email or piece of paper once and process it on the spot. You can read more about the One Touch game in my blog post here: Let’s Play a Game 

The truth is, there will always be work you don’t love – even dread. But, you don’t have to slog through these tough tasks. With the right attitude and set-up, you can keep it light and fun and still get things done. Gamification works in classrooms, in parenting, and workplaces, so why not for you?