5 Ways to Gamify Everyday Life
Anyone reading this blog knows that it can be tough to prioritize boring tasks over what you’d rather be doing: gaming. But constantly having to play catch-up because you decided to play three hours of your favorite game over doing laundry isn’t fun, either. Here are some cool ways to “gamify” chores and unpleasant tasks to make them a little more appealing.
- Download an App
Thankfully, the problem of everyday tasks is nearly universal and some really clever apps have been made to gamify things like drinking more water or just checking off your to-do list. A popular choice is Habitica, which makes accomplishing your daily tasks so enjoyable, you might find yourself looking for more to do once your list is done. Apps like Plant Nanny turn drinking water into a fun game where your water drinking directly translates to watering your “plant” and keeping it alive.
- Determine Your Stats
In any game, your player’s stats determine what kind of tasks they can accomplish and what skills need to be acquired to succeed. While in real life you don’t have a health bar or XP, you can absolutely determine what kinds of skills you have that might make certain goals easier or more difficult. For example, if you want to be more active and high-achieving at work, it’s worthwhile to determine what unique things you bring to the table, versus what you might need to work on.
This approach can also be a successful way to make more personal connections in your life. You might not be the funny one in the group, for example, but maybe you have a gift for active listening or can be an effective encourager. And if your goal is running a marathon or hiring utility auditors, it’s easy to see how your stats can determine what your first steps should be.
- Create Reward Systems
A lot of people get a sense of satisfaction from checking off a to-do list, but others might need a little extra “push” to get things done. Many successful companies use the concept of gamification to increase productivity, and you can use it, too. For example, having a visual representation of the task, like fillable boxes for each day that you remember to floss, can make it more satisfying once you see all the filled-in boxes and encourage you to keep going. You can also set up a reward system for yourself, like getting a nice meal once you’ve kept the kitchen clean for X days in a row, or buying a new game after reading the book that’s been gathering dust for a year.
- Break it Down
Some of your goals might be relatively small and easy to accomplish, like putting away laundry or taking a package to the post office. But what if you have larger goals, like running a 5K or getting a promotion at work, that can’t easily be done and checked off? In games, you’d be kept engaged by accomplishing smaller tasks along the way to the end goal. Think of your goal in terms of “levels”. An early level in running a 5K might be running a mile without stopping or getting yourself to run for X days in a row. You can even create a points system that rewards you for the difficulty level of each accomplishment. Having more achievable goals will help you stay on track and not get discouraged.
- Find Teammates and Opponents
While this step is not exactly crucial to “gamifying” your life, involving other people can be a great way to keep yourself engaged. If you’re competitive, it’s motivating to have others to try and “beat”, whether that’s in collecting overall points or reaching the end goal first. Gamifying your life might seem like a joke at first, but it’s a seriously effective way to get yourself into gear to accomplish anything, whether your goal is doing the dishes or getting a promotion.