In a previous article, I talked about how we could tackle procrastination. So I told myself that my next article would talk about games and playing games could help us tackle the issue of procrastination.
Now there’s a little problem here… most of us procrastinate so we could do something “more fun” and games are fun. Our mobile phones have made it easier to get distracted and carried away by gaming. You know how you don’t go get groceries just because you want to finish a level of candy crush or temple run…that is exactly what I am talking about.
So am I still going to recommend a game or games that can help tackle procrastination? Yes.
Why do we play games? The answer is simple. We play games because they are fun. And the rush we get from accomplishing a gaming task motivates us to play more. Even when the next task seems harder, we still play. Accomplishment and rewards motivate us to do more.
Human beings are weird to want to play and have fun and also to seek rewards than engagement – unless that engagement is fun.
So How Does Gaming Help Treat Procrastinating? Gamification.
This is the process of turning tasks into games. Say you are on a workout program. It is easy to just give up and say “some other time” because your mind is focused on the engagement and the stress involved. But if you focus on the reward you get for engaging in workouts, it is a lot easier to continue. You want to finish the task at hand, get the reward and move to the next stage.
When we play games, our brain triggers the release of endorphins that give us a feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment, euphoria…let’s just call it an all-around positive vibe. These endorphins also cause feeling of motivation. Motivation to look for rewards (of satisfaction, accomplishment, and euphoria) in any task we embark on.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “How do I relate my job/task to this…it’s not so simple”
Based on the results of a research carried out by Nicole Lazzaro, there are four keys to having fun with games.
this type of fun is characterized by the feelings of fierce, frustration, and relief. These are the feeling experienced when you take on a difficult task. The most challenging task result in the greatest amount of euphoria. So if you have a very difficult task you have been postponing, turn it to a game. Set a reward for yourself, something really worth it. Something you’d really want. Focus on the reward and tell yourself “if I finish this, I’m getting that”.
2. EASY FUN:
this type of fun is characterized by feelings of curiosity, wonder, and surprise. The fun in a simple game comes from the surprises and discoveries along the way. In reality, these are those easy task we can do but just wouldn’t do. Turn it to a game, look out for the surprises that may spring up. Let the curiosity motivate you.
3. PEOPLE FUN:
this type of fun is characterized by feelings of amusement, admiration, and competition. Social games take emotions to the top level as they are being played. The endorphins secreted in your brain gives the social energy needed to complete a task. So if the task at hand has to do with people or teams, you should turn it into a game. Let the amusement, admiration or competition be your motivation.
this type of fun has excitement, focus, and relaxation as its characteristics. It is all about the impact of the game. Does it result in real or tangible rewards? Any task that directly rewards you for engaging in it and completion falls into this category. E.g. Landing a contract or working out.
To you procrastinator out there, I say to you, create a gamified reward system for every task in your life and experience a turnaround.