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The Gamification of Getting Stuff Done

It’s been weeks of dragging my feet to complete some tasks that have no ‘real’ deadline. Despite being at home in a pandemic with plenty of time to get things done, the overwhelm just creeps in and nothing gets started. From coaching, I know that plenty of my clients are feeling similar overwhelm too. There’s something about the last few months that have taken away the sparkle of crossing something off the to-do list.

Aware of my blockers, I challenged myself with my own medicine; how can I make this into a game? We all learn from play and so surely I could activate my play personality to conquer my 'big boss' of procrastination that was beating me time and time again.

Given its Mental Health Awareness week, I've decided to share my idea with the communities I’m part of, in a bid to support both myself and any others feeling similar around me. Games are all about social connection after all!

Now I realise this isn’t for everyone but this has worked a treat for me and my clients. I took six things (small manageable steps for six separate tasks) and I assigned them a number of 1-6. Only this time, it wasn’t a priority list, it was a dice list. The rules of the game are simple, if I choose to roll the dice that day, I do the task for that number.

Doing this has been transformational. I get a small adrenaline kick from taking the ‘risk’ of rolling the dice, I feel spontaneous as my task is refined but undecided and I feel focussed as I have an external factor directing me on what to do. Best of all, I feel productive.

From speaking to others that are rolling with me, I’ve learned that they experience other benefits to gamifying lists in this way. Plus involving others has meant that there's a huge community benefit of accountability, emotional support and inspiration.

How do you engage with play? I know that I’m a stickler for the rules of the game so this works for me

but maybe you’re all about the social side (find a dice buddy), the winning (designate rewards for completed tasks) or the escapism (what’s the quest this dice is helping you complete). What's more, the list can be themed to something that you want to focus on; it doesn't have to be admin, it could be self care, new experiences or friend focussed to name a few.

By choosing to play with my overwhelming tasks, I’ve had a bit of fun but more importantly, I’ve got started which is notoriously one of the hardest parts. Playing this way means I can’t think about the other factors that prevent me from seeing the task at hand, instead, I’m all about the dice.

What would be on your list of six? How would gamifying that list help you get stuff done? Follow my Instagram on @nicolatdcoaching, check out my site or get in touch directly if you'd like to learn more about what coaching with me can do for you.

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