Monthly Archives: August 2019

Gameful Project Management: A New Blog Series and Why I Want To Write It

Reading time: 5 minutes

I turn all aspects of my life into games for several years now. The resonance and interest in what I do inspire me to create various types of content, which I created to share my experiences. The latest was the book Self-Gamification Happiness Formula: How to Turn Your Life into Fun Games.

I am thrilled about the positive feedback and interest to the book and the Self-Gamification approach.

Many of my readers are project managers

In my interaction with my readers, I realized that many of them are entrepreneurs or persons in management positions. So, their questions were centered often around turning project management into games. Also, besides work, many questions were about how to handle what we want or need to do balancing it with enough time for our loved ones, our friends, and ourselves.

While answering questions, I shared my process of turning various parts of my life and how I finally turned my whole life into games. I also shared my self-motivational game designs. When looking closer at my latest gamified design that I call the Balance Game, it becomes clear that it is the design of a “project management game,” embracing both my work and personal life.

The interest in Self-Gamification Happiness Formula resulted in several requests for me to lead seminars and make presentations on Self-Gamification. Also, these requests seemed to come down to this one question: how to make juggling all the responsibilities that we have, not only functioning well but also enjoyable? This last possibility which I show in my approach to turning our lives into games was one of the main pulling forces to what I had to say.

Searching for resources on the Gameful Project Management

Since I am not the first to talk about making our own lives gameful or playful, I expected to find many resources on this topic. But surprisingly when I searched for the words “gameful project management” on Amazon, I got the following reply: “Use fewer keywords or try these instead -> No results for gameful project management.”

A bit further down below this statement, there were a few suggestions for books on how to manage game or gaming projects. That is an entirely different topic altogether, but I downloaded a sample of some of them anyway. I am sure I will learn something new, exciting, and valuable there.

So I typed “playful project management” and got a few entries with books among many creatively designed monthly or weekly planners. The books are about how playful attitude can enrich the workplace and various activities in embraces, including project management. Thus I downloaded the samples of these books as well, and I will read them as I write this series (more on it further below).

But playful project management is not what I am looking for. Projects resemble more games than play. They are structured very much as games, containing goals, rules, reporting/feedback system. And their documentation, and especially the contracts, often contain signatures of all parties involved sealing their voluntary participation. This voluntary participation confirms their will to be part of this “project game,” as well as their right to step out of the project (leave the game).
When I turned to the internet and started the same search, I found a few articles addressing gamification of business processes and many tools to facilitate project management. But again, I couldn’t find anything explicitly discussing how gameful approach can enrich and facilitate project management.

But I believe it can.

I am aware that many consider project management activities tedious, time-consuming, at times expensive, and annoying, even if necessary. I did that, until — while adjusting my self-gamification game designs for the next round — I realized that these plans were nothing else than my project management plans. Without me intending it, project and time management became effortless and fun.

After the research on Amazon and on the internet, I wanted to be sure that I didn’t miss anything in my research on gameful project management. So I went to, where you can find many great online courses both on project management and gamification. But again, there was nothing explicitly targeted to show how these two can work together and what else is needed to make project management gamification a success.

So all these are the reasons why I am starting a blog series on Gameful Project Management, which I will also release as a book and an online course.

What it is and is not about

Here are the tentative title and subtitle of this multi-dimensional project:

  • Title: Gameful Project Management
  • Sub-title: Low-Budget, Effortless, Enlightening, and Fun Optimization of All Facets of Your Project Management

I can imagine that the words “low-budget,” “effortless,” “enlightening,” and “fun” sound strange together, but this is precisely how the management of your projects and your time can become when you turn them into exciting games and treat yourself as if you were both the designer and the player of your project management games.

This blog series will not suggest that you buy a new software system or hire new personnel. Instead, it will concentrate on how you can improve your project management activities with what you already have at your disposal and with little additional effort. With self-gamified attitude toward project management, you will become aware of what you need for your work (and even life in general) and make conscious decisions on what to do next. You will also acquire skills of gameful resourcefulness and motivation in any of the situations, including tight deadlines when increased motivation is hard to achieve but often needed.

I will share with you how you can turn the project management into not only a productive activity but also into a fun one. By applying the ideas shared in this blog series, you will see a considerable improvement in project management efficiency without making significant investments into new technology or more personnel.

If you want to learn more

If you would like to learn more about Gameful Project Management, then I invite you to follow the articles in this series and for that to subscribe to the Optimist Writer’s Blog. You can sign up here.

If you would like to work closely with me and discover how you can optimize your project management practices gamefully (= in a light, creative, and inexpensive way) the check out my coaching and consulting services on Gameful Project Management here.

If you want to learn more about the approach that lies at the base of the gameful project management — self-gamification — then check out my book Self-Gamification Happiness Formula.

For the list of all resources, I offer on self-gamification go to this link.

Support Yourself With Self-Gamification

Sometimes we need help and a pat on the shoulder in the middle of the day, when everyone else is busy with their days. How can we then help ourselves to motivate and uplift our states of mind?

With self-gamification, of course! By consciously turning our lives into games, we become resourceful and brighten our days. Gameful life also reduces the fear of reaching out for help.

Here is a quck reminder what self-gamification (=turning life into games) embraces:

  • non-judgmental, anthropological study of ourselves, the world around us, and our thought processes while we interact with ourselves and the world,
  • breaking everything (challenges, wishes, dreams, moments, tasks, projects, you name it) into small, effortlessly digestible and doable bits,
  • the creativity of game designers eager to create the most fun game for their favorite players (themselves).


P.S. If you would like to learn more about self-gamification then click here or on the image below:

P.P.S. If you already acquired this book (or another product on self-gamification: the book 5 Minute Perseverance Game or the online course on Udemy  Motivate Yourself by Turning Your Life into Fun Games), then I invite you to join the Self-Gamification Community. You can find more about it here.

Listening to Oneself Like a Game Designer and Anthropologist

Our tiny kite flying over a beach in Hals, Denmark, July 2019

Writing a non-fiction book often leads to the discovery of many great books during its research.

But what I find fascinating and even more inspiring that after publishing my non-fiction books, I discover more and more inspiring resources on the topics of these books. It is also the case for my latest book, Self-Gamification Happiness Formula: How to Turn Your Life into Fun Games.

One of the many brilliant books on motivation, gamification, and serving those we serve with compassion, which I recently discovered is Game Thinking: Innovate smarter & drive deep engagement with design techniques from hit games by Amy Jo Kim.

In the foreword to this book by Raph Koster (whom I quoted many times on fun in the Self-Gamification Happiness Formula), I found the following quote:

“That’s really what game thinking is about. It begins by pushing you to look at what your users actually care about, through its process of interviews and job stories. It asks you to listen — really listen — when users tell you what problems they have, and what solutions they wish were out there. It does away with hoary generalizations and made-up personas and goes right to the people most likely to want a solution from you, and teaches you, the designer, how to ask the right questions.” — Raph Koster in the foreword to Game Thinking: Innovate smarter & drive deep engagement with design techniques from hit games by Amy Jo Kim

This inspiring and revealing quote for gamification designers got me thinking and gave me an idea. The game thinking and gameful attitude to life do not only help us ask the right questions to those we serve but in self-gamification, it can also help us ask ourselves the right questions.

In the post last week, I reported how turning my life into games for several years facilitated my resourcefulness and made it effortless and fun.

When we turn our lives into games, besides that, we learn also being both honest and kind with ourselves, and be both simultaneously. I discovered many times in my life that I can’t be truly honest with myself without being also kind to myself. And vice versa, if I try being kind but resist the truth, then the kindness is not present either.

Really listening to ourselves does not mean listening to our thoughts. Those thoughts, especially when uncomfortable and reprimanding, are just an indicator that something is calling for our attention. Real listening to ourselves means, instead, seeing ourselves anthropologically, that is non-judgmentally. And kindly. If we practice such listening with ourselves, then the true and kind listening with the others will come naturally.

I am finishing this post with the quotes of two other authors, whom I frequently quote in the Self-Gamification Happiness Formula, Ariel and Shya Kane:

“True Listening is actively listening to another with the intention of hearing what is being said from the other’s point of view.”


“This act of listening is enough to pull you into the moment. However, you have an incredibly facile mind. You can race ahead in your thoughts and finish another person’s sentence before he or she gets to the point. Or you can take exception to a word he or she uses and stop listening altogether. If you pay attention, you will see that there are many times when you have an internal commentary on what is being said rather than just listening. If you can train yourself to hear what is being said, from the speaker’s point of view, it takes you outside of time and into the current moment.” Ariel and Shya Kane, Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life

And here is one more quote. It is about awareness and the art of being here. I can’t quote all these brilliant gems of wisdom often enough:

Awareness is “A nonjudgmental, non-preferential seeing. It’s an objective, noncritical witnessing of the nature or what we call the ‘isness’ of any particular circumstance or situation. It can be described as an ongoing process in which you are bringing yourself back to the moment, rather than complaining silently about how you would prefer this moment to be.”Ariel and Shya Kane, Practical Enlightenment


P.S. If you would like to learn more about self-gamification then click here or on the image below:

P.P.S. If you already acquired this book (or another product on self-gamification: the book 5 Minute Perseverance Game or the online course on Udemy  Motivate Yourself by Turning Your Life into Fun Games), then I invite you to join the Self-Gamification Community. You can find more about it here.