What is gamification?
Gamification is a technique attempting to enhance productivity and performance through creating game-like experiences and applying game mechanics in non-game contexts. It can be used in business and marketing strategies, human resource management, customer engagement and many more. In workplace settings, it’s usually a way to motivate employees, increase team spirit and provide a sense of reward, but the method is also quite popular among successful freelancers.
The simplest example of a gamification program is collecting stamp points each time you buy a coffee in your local spot, and coming back to pick up your free, 10th reward. The business gets a loyal customer, while you get to level up caffeine rewards for completing a set of tasks. Most definitely a win for both!
Do you know you can use game mechanics and create a reward system to boost productivity and motivation? Here’s how to turn your professional life into a video game to make it a bit more fun.
Gamify your freelancer job – how to use gamification to boost productivity?
Bored with your daily tasks or up to challenge yourself, it doesn’t matter. The methods are worth trying and might get you closer to achieving your business goals. While we recommend using apps (see below for our examples), you can start with a simple to-do list on a piece of paper. First, figure out what your goals are and what your incentives are. What kind of reward system can keep you motivated enough to complete the task? How can you measure your progress? Can you think of any challenges for yourself – and what happens if you fail them?
The options are unlimited since you’re the creator of the game. Remember, gamification works only if the incentive is strong enough and the set tasks are complex, but achievable. Here are some ways to gamify your freelancing job:
- Make a list of things that you want (rewards/incentives) and try to value them with a point price. Remember to include both big and small prizes on your list – a small, 15-point coffee will make your workday nicer, while a 300-point weekend out of town is a nice, big goal to push towards.
- Make a list of tasks and divide them into paths and processes. Some of them can be done in five minutes, like responding to an email, and some, like creating a freelancer portfolio or working on new skills, will consist of many elements throughout the path.
- Don’t forget that failing is part of the learning process. The cool thing about games is that you can always start over. If you don’t hit the streak because you’re already overworked, you’re not motivating yourself correctly.
- Make use of friendly competition. Share your challenge on social media platforms or invite other freelancers to join your race and see who performs better.
- Protect and regenerate your HP – so necessary also in a non game context.
- Plan accordingly. You can’t master your everyday tasks if you’re carrying last week’s deadlines on your back. Looking at our tasks from the game mechanics perspective can help us understand that each win requires a good strategy.
If there’s a need, there’s an app for this. Track your process and keep up with the challenge with the help of one of these apps. We recommend trying out freelancer productivity tools, which can turn your to-do list into an engaging adventure and reward your progress with shiny badges.
Habitica is a role-playing game centered on your motivation. Each task completion is rewarded by gold coins, which can be later spent on virtual or real life rewards. If you’re not keeping up – missing goals or skipping tasks, your avatar representation might lose some life points. It’s basically a task tracker and a motivation system at once – but with monsters, magical pets, magic and cool armor. We’re in.
For fans of more simple games – in TaskTowers each of your good habits is represented by a tower. Completing tasks and finishing the daily streak adds a floor to the building. A great representation of reaching to the sky in your personal progress.
MarsCraft keeps you focused on your tasks, tracking your productivity through the Pomodoro focus timer. When you successfully complete a task and stay focused throughout the whole pomodoro interval, you get another building in your Mars colony base. Should you fail, the colony gets destroyed. You wouldn’t want that, would you.
Now you know how to efficiently use gamification to make a step forward becoming a better professional. Don’t forget to have some fun with it, and enjoy completing tasks!