Category Archives: Self-Gamification and Business

The Category Business changed to Self-Gamification and Business.

Self-gamification is the term I use for the gameful approach I use to project, time and my life’s management.

I try to approach all areas of my life gamefully, and this includes my work and my business. Therefore all former Business blog posts remain in this category. Apart from that, I moved the 5 Minute Perseverance blog posts into this category.

The Story Behind Self-Gamification

I turn my life into games since two years. During these two years, deliberately. Now I realize that I applied game-design principles also before to my life, but unbeknown to me until now. Since the last half a year, I gamify all areas of my life and have immense fun with it.

When I first heard of the word gamification, I was sure I would find someone doing what I do, or at least someone, who was wondering, as I was, whether we could turn all activities including those we think we don’t like doing into fun occupations. But I didn’t.

I also couldn’t find another non-gamer writing about gamification.

Now, as the interest to my method – which brings three established approaches into one strong synergy – grows, I think I should share the story that led me to develop this approach, which I call self-gamification.

This story will be the second chapter of my future book Self-Gamification: Turn Your Life into a Fun Game.

Enjoy: The Story Behind

(Credits: Photograph ©canva.com with the keyword game)

Optimist Writer’s Self-Gamification Newsletter, March 2018

It’s been quite some time since I wrote a blog post on self-gamification, or in other words, on how to turn one’s life into a fun game.

However, many things happened since I wrote on the topic. The book which will have the title Self-Gamification: Turn Your Life into a Fun Game is evolving well, and I am re-writing it right now. You can follow the project and show your support for it on the following Crowdfunding page:

www.inkshares.com/books/self-gamification-turn-your-life-into-a-fun-game

Moreover, I will start soon teaching on various aspects of self-gamification.
For example, tomorrow, March 21, 2018, at 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm CET, at the International House North Jutland in Aalborg, Rantzausgade 4, 1., 9000 Aalborg, Denmark, there will be a Startup Cafe event organized by the Plus Consult, a team of international entrepreneurs, where I participate with my skillset.
I will also be helping others to increase their motivation and productivity in a light and fun way through gamification of their lives, in a series of bi-weekly workshops in April and May hosted by AOF Nord at their premises in Aalborg, with the following title:Increase Your Motivation and Productivity – by Turning Your Life into a Fun Game. This series of workshops starts on April 9 and finishes on May 21. Each participant will get a signed copy of my very first book on how to gamify projects, 5 Minute Perseverance Game: Play Daily for a Month and Become the Ultimate Procrastination Breaker. You will also be able to interact with me between the workshops if you have questions on how to gamify your projects. Here is the link to this two months or 4-workshop training course: https://nord.aof.dk/kurser/Mennesker+imellem/Personlig+udvikling/4316101/

There is more to come, and I will keep you informed. But if you would like to get regular updates on self-gamification as well as my project game-plans, then join the supporting team on Inkshares. Here s the link to it again: www.inkshares.com/books/self-gamification-turn-your-life-into-a-fun-game.

And if you would like to have a customized training course, a coaching session, or a seminar on self-gamification, approaching project and time management as games, or other related topics for your company or yourself then contact me at vib@optimistwriter.com.

(Credits: Photograph ©canva.com with the keyword games)

Business Blog Category Becomes Self-Gamification

I would like to inform all subscribers to my blog posts in Business and Writing blog categories on the changes that I made today.

The blog Business changed now to Self-Gamification, the term I use for the gameful approach I use to project, time and my life’s management.

I try to approach all areas of my life gamefully, and this includes my work and my business. Therefore all former Business blog posts remain in this category. Apart from that, I moved the 5 Minute Perseverance Game blog posts into this main blog category. They won’t be under Writing category as they were before, at least most of them won’t be, because the 5 Minute Perseverance Game and other derivatives of this game have to do more with project and time management than purely with writing.

I hope these changes won’t bring any inconveniences to you and will continue to bring value to you as well as make you smile and help enjoy whatever you do.

Please don’t hesitate to ask me whatever questions you have on this. You can contact me at vib@optimistwriter.com.

P.S.: There is more to come on self-gamification. And I am excited to share these projects with you in the coming year.

P.P.S. from March 20, 2018. I have renamed this blog category into Self-Gamification and Business to include the pure business sub-categories of this blog into its title.

Credits: Photograph ©canva.com under the keyword “dice.”

Why is a Simple Scoring System Enough for Gamifying One’s Life; And Results of the November Round of the 5 Minute Perseverance Game

A note beforehand: This blog post applies both to writers and entrepreneurs, and therefore I am attributing it to both Business and Writing blogs on my website. Thus, if you signed to both of these two blogs, then you will get the notification about this article twice. I apologize for this inconvenience.

***

When I share the 5 Minute Perseverance Game with others, people often ask me how I reward myself in this game. When I tell them about the simple scoring system I use, they ask me “Is that all?”

First time I was asked this question and looked confused in reply, my friend clarified and gave a few examples how she does it: by eating a small piece of chocolate or at the end of a big task, she buys herself something.

I heard similar scenarios many times and even read about them.

After getting similar questions again and after writing last month’s article (5 Minute Perseverance Game: Results of the October Round and Editing plus Revision by Someone else), I stopped and contemplated. Why was gathering points enough for me? Why didn’t I see an occasional espresso I make for myself several times a day as a reward for the project work? Why did I consider it and other similar rewards instead as sweet indulgences and even as activities worthy of giving myself additional points?

After some thought, I realized what that was. If I would reward myself with something material or costing money (like a trip to the Bahamas or to a cinema), then I would not regard my projects as a game, or a part of a game. I would see them then as something hard to do, something requiring considerable effort.

When we agree to play a game, either a board game or one online, we usually don’t expect a material reward. I am consciously leaving the gambling aside here, since the stress factor there take those games out of the true game definition, or at least makes them another type of game altogether.

When we agree to play a board game, for example, with our children or our partner or a friend, all we want to do is to score more or less than he or she does, depending on the definition of the win in that game.

Seeing that made me realize why points are enough for me as a reward. Because I experience my day as if it was a game. It doesn’t mean that I don’t concentrate on the task at hand, but I loose (for growing part of the time) that wish of only getting things done and thinking poorly of the assignments I have to address. Enjoying what I do starts to prevail and with that (without explicitly intending) also the rate with which I manage to complete tasks increases.

Thus the condition for this game to have success is your willingness to design the game, its rules, test it, play it, follow those rules you have outlined, and through it, be willing to have fun.

Please note, I didn’t mean that you should expect to have fun. We often approach various suggestions we get testing them whether they would be fun for us, usually intending to prove that that can’t be the case. But what indeed makes a game or any activity fun is the willingness to have fun and to experience this feeling.

***

And here, if you are interested, are the results of my 5 Minute Perseverance Game for November and plans for the December round of the game.

I scored in total 925 points in November. That made 160 points more than in October. Out of these, 455 were the bonus points, which correspond to 89 concrete deliveries, postings, etc. These correspond to 37 more than in October. There was one day when I managed to attend to at least to one project in each activity area. That compared to 1 more than in October.

I noticed that I was more diligent with recording the points and bonus points in November. It felt as if I slowed down a little and became more aware of what I managed during the day. But the gathered score and accomplished tasks show otherwise. They seem to imply that I completed more than the previous month. The paradox, however, is, that it didn’t feel like I had worked harder. It felt as if I had more fun than the month before. Here we go again: the success of the game, the feeling of satisfaction as well as the success of the projects resulted from allowing myself to have fun in the game.

After re-evaluating the projects and developments in them, and after noticing how my activities and priorities changed lately, I again came up with eight areas of activities for the December round of the game. The projects areas have been re-shuffled and switched places, as well as their components, but the number of all is still eight. That seems like a good number to keep me positively challenged, but also allow me to have an overview of various aspects of my life.

Here are my project areas for December month:

  1. Finish the first drafts of two books which are both about 80 % done
  2. Book marketing
  3. Training and consulting projects
  4. Tools page development
  5. Family, my business, and other admin matters
  6. Free time, fun, health and movement
  7. Voluntary work (technical and creative)
  8. Other writing projects (This is mainly to catch all those floating free ideas and help them not to go unnoticed).

What about you? If you take a look at what you do or want to do during a regular day, what would those areas of activities be for you? Consider both weekdays and weekends. How many of these areas can you identify?

Credits: Photograph ©canva.com under the keyword “a treat.”

What is this blog series about? You can find this out on its first blog post called 5 Minute Perseverance Game – Moving my Favorite Game to my Writing Blog.

Copyright © 2017 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels

5 Minute Perseverance Game and Revising or Editing Work of Someone Else

I noticed the following thoughts when I revised or read someone else’s writing. “Who makes such a mistake? How stupid can one be?” Etc. of that kind.

Those thoughts had little to do with the person who wrote the piece I was revising or editing; and neither her background. It also had little to do with the fact whether I liked the person or not. Because I usually did, especially since I started my business, I didn’t have to read (especially beta-read) the work of someone whom I didn’t like. And luckily for me, I still have to meet a writer I detest.

And even in the previous job, where I was an employee, I don’t remember disliking either my colleagues or the customers. In fact, I respected all of the persons who wrote or gave me something written to comment or edit.
And still those thoughts would appear. They would also surface around the good bits of writing, but which could be slightly polished.

As I started noticing those thoughts, I was shocked for having them. I found challenging having such feelings about people and people’s hard work. So I resisted them because a kind person couldn’t have such thoughts, could she?

Then self-defensive thoughts would appear, “If I sat now down to edit my own writing, I would enjoy it more.”

But the fact was that I didn’t enjoy self-editing either. When I self-edited, I caught myself thinking that reading, editing or reviewing someone else’s writing was more comfortable because then I wasn’t “burdened” with the responsibility of the author.

Hm, so what was that all about?

Did I mix my feelings, my state of mind at that time, my stress-levels into the revision process of other people’s writing? Did the quality of my comments depend on whether I had a refreshing cup of espresso in the morning already or not yet, whether I had enough sleep, or whether I had an unresolved argument with someone I cared about?

Or was I judgmental and believed in the cliche that all critiques are bad, mistakingly thinking change suggestions and negative critic being synonyms?

I probably did and was. Perhaps even without realizing that.

Was that a fault?

No. That was just an automatic behavior illustrating that I was not fully engaged in what I was doing.

What could help in such situations? What could help me to become more aware and more present?

Judgment? No.

To relax and slow down? Yes.

How?

As in October round of the 5 Minute Perseverance Game, where I discussed the challenges I faced when my writing was read and edited by someone else, three techniques helped me also here, when I had to provide revising comments to other writers (both creative and technical):

  • Instantaneous transformation, developed by award-winning writers, Ariel and Shya Kane, embracing awareness and being in the current moment of my life,
  • Kaizen that is taking it all step-by-small-step,
  • Gamification that is bringing games and playful method to all the tasks I had to address.

These three techniques again proofed to be a game breaker and the savior in the situation.

The instantaneous transformation helped me to become aware of the task, non-judgmentally see my reactions to the challenge it posed and also that I had both the responsibility and the power to accomplish the task.

Here is how. Ariel and Shya Kane provide many resources on the topics of awareness and being in the moment. One of my favorites is a video on YouTube called Transformational Tips For The Workplace.

They formulated three brilliant and to the point tips how to work efficiently and have success at work. The transformational tip for the workplace #2 is called Close Your Complaint Department:

“You should recognize that if you are complaining, that’s the only thing you can be doing. Work, complain, choose one. That goes back to that second principle again. [Author’s addition: the second principle of instantaneous transformation reads, “No two things can occupy the same space at the same time.”] You can only do one thing at a time. If you’re complaining, that’s your moment. You don’t get any work accomplished.“ Ariel and Shya Kane

So, it was that simple; I could either complain or do the work.

The next step was to identify how I could support myself to do the work.

Here is what became apparent.

First of all, I had to identify the following smallest sub-sub-sub-task I could manage immediately. Not to try to consider the whole task and then split into many small steps. That in itself was a complicated assignment in itself. But just see where in the document I was reading and what the next sentence or paragraph was. Yes, a paragraph instead of a sentence. A paragraph sounded to me as a manageable and self-contained bit, to which I could devote a micro-assignment. That was it. Just one paragraph. Nothing else for that given moment to think about.

Then I put myself in front of a challenge: will I manage to read and revise the next paragraph within 5 minutes? If not, how many minutes would it take? I started testing and researching my ability to accomplish a task in a given period.

And finally, I rewarded myself by recording a point (a dash, dot, check mark, cross, or whatever shape I preferred on that day) for each revised paragraph. I gave myself a point when and if I edited on paper, and later I gave myself points when I added my comments and changed suggestions into the text on my computer.

Sometimes, I forgot to record the points. I complained less and less, regained fun in discovering something entirely new for me in other people’s writing and be excited to be able to contribute to make their work shine even more.

Yes, you would be completely right to guess that the process here is the same as in self-editing. And if it is, it would be the best. Because if you treat someone else’s work as your own, you will provide the best advice possible. And if you would formulate that recommendation as the one you wished to receive for the same text, then it would be both kind and honest.

What about you? Have you ever observed the thoughts you have when you revise or edit someone else’s work? Do you usually resent such work or enjoy it? Are there variations in your feelings towards such assignments? What are the circumstances of those differences?

Credits: Photograph ©canva.com under the keyword “correct.”

What is this blog series about? You can find this out on its first blog post called 5 Minute Perseverance Game – Moving my Favorite Game to my Writing Blog.

Copyright © 2017 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels