Everyone who’s ever played a video game for so much as five minutes before in their lives, realises that these games are extremely engaging, exciting, and yes, even addictive.
For many of us, video games are portals into exciting parallel universes, and allow us to participate in epic stories and adventures that far transcend the ordinary. But, wouldn’t it be great if you could benefit from the exciting aspects of gaming in your real life too, rather than just using games as a form of relaxation and entertainment?
In recent times, the concept of “gamification” has been attracting a lot of attention in different industries, particularly as there are more and more companies moving away from Skype and once-established digital tools, in favour of systems that cater to the basic underlying human desire for excitement and intrigue.
Gamification is a strategy that involves identifying and applying some of the most potent and motivational mechanisms and elements of video games, to other domains of life that, on the surface, have nothing to do with gaming. Gamification can, therefore, help to inject some of the magic of gaming into workplace routines and systems, and can lead to tools that serve a greater overall purpose, in both personal and professional life.
Here are a few ways you can use gamification to transform your professional life for the better.
1. By keeping yourself incentivised to maintain positive habits
Habitica, formerly known as Habit RPG, is the clearest example of a tool that has been developed along specific gamification principles, for the sake of helping people to manage and master their habits.
This tool takes the form of a web and app-based service, where you create an avatar, set yourself a series of goals – ranging from habits that you want to do more or less of, daily “to dos” that you need to accomplish, and longer-term projects that you’re working on – and then turns the whole process into an adventure.
In the world of Habitica, sticking to positive habits rewards you with experience points, and “gold,” that can be used to buy in game items for your avatar, or that can be used to earn yourself customised, real-life rewards.
Among other things, Habitica includes boss fights, guilds, quests, special world events, and more.
There’s a really good argument to be made that long-term and enduring success in any area of your life, ultimately depends on your ability to master your habits, and to ensure that you are doing the right thing, day in and day out.
This is true in your personal life, and it’s certainly true in your career and professional life, too. After all, if you’re aiming for promotion within a company, or are trying to get your own business off the ground, and want to make a real success of it, it’s going to be day-to-day excellence that ends up rewarding your efforts, and getting you to where you want to be.
Even if you don’t use Habitica, or a similar service, simply making a list of the goals that you want to achieve, and setting yourself a series of “rewards” and “penalties” for sticking with the right habits (or failing to) can have a tremendous impact over time.
2. By using gamification principles to encourage healthy competition in your small business
If you run a small business, and employ certain staff and team members, encouraging a healthy degree of intra-office competition may well be a major key in ensuring that productivity remains as high as possible, and that everyone stays motivated and engaged with their tasks and projects.
Gamification principles can be utilised very effectively to help to promote this kind of competition – and as long as you have the right approach to it, you can do a decent job of ensuring that the competition remains “friendly” and “productive.”
For example – how about setting up a kanban board system, or similar, assigning each project a certain number of “points,” setting up a leaderboard, and allowing the members of your team to “purchase” certain pre-selected company rewards, with the points they have accumulated?
With these simple gamification systems in place, you can immediately drive motivation to achieve, on an everyday basis, while also making people feel directly invested in maintaining as high a level of productivity as possible, day in, and day out.
3. By making dull but necessary tasks more interesting and engaging
In any job or professional venture, there will be dull tasks that you don’t really want to deal with, but that you nonetheless have to deal with, just in order to keep things ticking along properly.
One way of dealing with these tasks is to just grit your teeth, and power through, regardless of how you feel about it.
Another way – likely a better way – of dealing with these dull but necessary tasks, is to make them more interesting and engaging, by gamifying them.
You could reframe these dull admin tasks as a form of necessary “grinding” in order to get to the “next level.” You could set yourself certain rewards for achieving these tasks, and could set yourself other, related challenges, such as seeing how many of these tasks you can knock off in a certain space of time – while constantly trying to beat your previous “best time.”
4. By making your products or services more engaging for the consumer
If you’re selling a particular good or service, you want to ensure that it’s as engaging for the customer as possible.
There are many very useful tools out there, for all sorts of things ranging from budgeting, to website creation, and more.
But, just because something is useful, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily very engaging, or that it stands out significantly from the competition.
By adding gamification elements – such as appealing graphical displays, systems that incentivise or dis-incentivise certain behaviours, and so on — you may be able to make your products or services far more engaging for the consumer, and therefore can end up standing out much better in your industry.