3 Ways to Gamify Your Career

gamify your productivity

Sometimes too much work can feel like, well, too much work. Savvy creatives know how to reset their priorities and replenish their work lives with the help of a bit of fun. After all, what’s a better antidote to boredom and obligation than a bit of play?

Next time you’re feeling the need for a bit of motivation, why not try gamification? It might sound like a mouthful, but the concept is actually quite simple: find ways to turn problematic or repetitive tasks into ones that feel more like a game. Gamification can help you trick your own brain into working…and like any good game, it’s usually a lot of fun. Here are three ways to gamify your creative life:

Play With Your Inbox

Many creatives struggle under a seeming mountain of unanswered email, and the thought of an overflowing inbox can put a damper on time spent away from your desk. Why not turn dealing with your email into a fun game instead? Baydin invented The Email Game for people who use Gmail and Google Apps. The game gives you the incentive to clear out your inbox with challenging time limits that will help you prioritize, clear, and deal with as many unanswered messages as possible. Watch out…you just might learn some time management skills along the way!

Build Better Habits

Maybe you’re trying to figure out how to work fitness into your daily routine, or need help staying on track as you pitch more projects. Why not make those goals into habits with the help of a bit of video game fun? HabitRPG turns life into a video game, giving you badges, random prizes, and a bit of friendly competition as you work to accomplish daily tasks and clear to-do lists. You can even join challenges to compete against private groups or strangers.

Turn To-Dos Into Money

What if staying on task could earn you even more money? A group of Portland hackers came up with an idea called Pomodoro Poker to help them keep on task and accomplish a lot in a short period of time. The concept’s simple: participants get together for an uninterrupted stretch of time, ante up small amounts of money and create a goal, and give each other the chance to win money for accomplishing their goals. The idea is simple, but it could become a fun night for time-strapped friends who want to get work done and engage in a bit of friendly competition.


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Erin Blakemore is a library school drop-out, historian, freelance writer, and author of the award-winning The Heroine’s Bookshelf (Harper). She dishes about books, history, and channeling your inner heroine at www.erinblakemore.com