You’ve tried the Pomodoro technique. You’ve tried time-blocking. You have even tried
the classic analog to-do list. But, you still aren’t able to be productive enough.
There’s just something missing.
If that sounds like you, perhaps it’s time to tap into the power of gamification on
What is Gamification?
According to Gartner, gamification is “the use of game mechanics and experience
design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals”.
Some of the best gamification examples are Pokemon go, Starbucks Rewards,
or Nike+ Run Club. Other popular apps that gamify learning are Duolingo, Memrise,
Yousician, and Tinycards.
However, it’s important to note that gamification doesn’t have to be digital.
For example, when you go to a cafe and collect stamps on a loyalty card in
order to get a free beverage, you are experiencing gamification that is not digital.
What are Game Mechanics?
The key to gamification is using game mechanics to help amplify motivation
and become more productive.
Here are some examples of game mechanics in gamification:
Goals - the task that needs to be completed in order to receive the reward
Status - a rank or level that is achieved by users as they complete activities.
Often leaderboards list the ranks of users, which inspire users to work harder and rank higher.
Community - groups of users that work together to achieve an outcome.
Rewards - something the user receives to fuel the user’s motivation. Rewards
can be in the form of points, badges, discounts, coupons, or gift cards.
How to Gamify Learning for yourself
While gamification sounds complicated, it can be quite simple to gamify
the goals in your life.
All you need to do is set specific tasks and ensure you receive some sort
of reward once you achieve your goal. For example, if you want to get
better grades, you can gamify learning. Set a specific goal, such as
reading a chapter a day. Then, give yourself a reward for achieving
this goal, like 5-minutes of Youtube watchtime.
Why does Gamification work?
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Gamification taps into both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. For example,
if you want to write a book to feel accomplished, gamification helps you focus
on your goals and feel accomplished, while also offering external rewards along
the way to keep you motivated.
Makes Achieving Success Addicting
Another reason gamification works so well is because it makes achieving your
goals addicting. Every time you receive a reward, your brain releases dopamine.
Dopamine is the ‘feel good’ hormone that is highly addicting. Hence, achieving
your goals, whether it is working out every day or reading 10 pages of a new book,
becomes increasingly easier.
Makes Learning Fun
Rather than staring at drab textbooks or trying to make sense of endless
black-and-white text, gamification makes learning fun. This motivates learners
to engage with the content and absorb the content a lot faster and deeper than otherwise.
Let’s face it, working towards any goals is not easy. It requires mental energy,
and it can often be tiresome. By offering extrinsic motivation through rewards,
and by making learning and working fun, gamification has an edge over other
productivity techniques. So the next time you feel like you are in a slump,
try gamifying your to-do list! You might be surprised at the power that a
little fun has on your productivity levels.