There are many generous bloggers and writers, who offer detailed information mapping their earnings and how they achieved that for the past week, month, season, or year. I would like to offer here another kind of transparency. The observation of my thought processes and lessons learned during the gamifying process of my life.
Here are the projects which I took into the May 2017 round of the 5 Minute Perseverance Game and the experiences I made:
- Blogging on the 5 Minute Perseverance Game.
This activity is probably the most prominent project with most results in this past month. I noticed that the project, recorded as the first on the list, progresses well in a month, so I often put there the activity, which I want very much to improve, but which I often procrastinate. After blogging very irregularly in the past few months, I wanted to revive this activity. And besides that, I very much wanted to blog a book again. After a few posts on the 5 Minute perseverance game and gamification, I noticed that I still have something to say in this respect and also that I want to dig into, learn about, and experiment with this subject more and more. The result of this work in May: 6 blog posts (not counting this one).
Points earned in this project: 26 out of 31 possible.
- Finish publishing a technical book (S1000D Issue 4.1 & Issue 4.2) and after that book update (where necessary) and book marketing, including preparing training courses based on my books.
I’ve finished publishing “S1000D Issue 4.1 and Issue 4.2 Navigation Map”. Then I updated the e-book of the “5 Minute Perseverance Game” to align with the paperback (which was in a more updated and improved state) and published it. I’ve updated and had the brochures advertising my books printed. And I am well on my way to developing two training courses based on “Take Control of Your Business” and “5 Minute Perseverance Game.” So, yes, praise for the creative part of me here as well.
Points earned in this project: 24 out of 31 possible.
- Voluntary work for the S1000D community: work of Change Proposal Forms on behalf of the Business Rules Working Group, for which I serve as its chair.
This work is one of the projects, which I didn’t manage to attend to on all of the days in May, as I wanted to. Nevertheless, I managed to finish a long-term mask ahead of suspected date, which I thought would be June. This project will stay on the list in June too, and I might even move it up on the priority list to facilitate the progress. Or it will at least stay where it is.
Points earned in this project: 20 out of 31 possible.
- Work on “Cheerleading for Writers” -> incorporation of self-edits made on paper into the electronic version of the book.
I sometimes have this idea that I don’t like self-editing. However when I am in the process, then I very much enjoy it. I guess one of the reasons for this erroneous idea is that when I incorporate changes I need to be completely present and attentive to what I do to make any progress, and my brain doesn’t have space to think of something else then. The result is that I think I don’t want to do it at all. Teaming up with friends to work on the cover does remind me of the commitment I made with this book. So I managed to incorporate changes for more than half of the book (right now having to count slightly more than 35000 words).
Points earned in this project: 15 out of 31 possible.
- Voluntary work for the S1000D community: administrative tasks for the S1000D Business Rules Working Group and feedback to the work of other S1000D working groups and task teams.
As task 3 above, I didn’t manage to do this one every day. But having this as one of the projects in the game helped me to make progress and reduce the number of the unanswered e-mails in my Inbox related to it.
Points earned in this project: 12 out of 31 possible.
- Work on new or potential projects: “Everywhere At Home” (forthcoming short memoir compilation), pitching and updating proposals for new projects in the S1000D area and beyond, learning how to write query letters to send to various magazines.
A lot has happened in this block. Mainly the preparation of pitches for new projects progressed very well, and June will show whether they have been successful or not. One of the proposals has been reviewed and got constructive feedback for the next update. And the new non-fiction book, which will be a collection of memoirs, “Everywhere At Home” started to take shape. I have selected a few stories and gathered ideas how to structure it. Although I feared that this activity would fall behind, it turned out to be successful. Especially when I let myself this task to be not only about the book project but to be about planning and creating new projects in general.
Points earned in this project: 22 out of 31 possible.
- Learning Danish.
I live in Denmark since 2008, and I do speak Danish. But it’s far from fluent yet. One of the possible reasons might be the fact that I don’t use it during the most of my day. My work occurs mostly in English; at home, we speak German; with my mother, my sister, and my niece, I speak Romanian. My son chooses to talk in English with me time to time, just for fun. So my Danish gets short time slots while bringing my children to school and daycare and during shopping. Recently, I started using it also with the Danish partner companies and customers. It improved ever so slightly, but in the end of April, I got an offer to teach two training courses in Danish. Scared, terrified, but I said yes. Also because I very much want to learn this language and be able to understand my Danish friends and to communicate with them better. The results for this month of learning Danish: I’d read more than a half of a novel by Nora Roberts translated into Danish, and I discovered myself talking longer Danish and even explaining technical topics in Danish.
Points earned in this project: 19 out of 31 possible.
- Taking care of the family and personal (official) matters.
The main result of this project is that the game helps me to bypass the traditional annoyance with having to attend to the necessary issues like applying for a passport, or registering myself or my children for one or another thing, communicating with doctors, accompanying my mother to health checks, etc. I become less and less upset that I have to do all that and I also sigh about it much more rarely. Even if the thoughts appear shortly, like “Oh, there is always something to do,” there is this knowing, “I just need to do it at least for 5 min and then I will get the point.” Besides, the fact that if I want this point then I need to do this and see that everything in this regard is taken care of, I am even searching and looking forward to doing this tasks, because if I follow the instructions given by various instances, they are often straightforward to do. Yes, biggest results here are the removal of drama, fun factor in doing something simple and straightforward, and gladness of witnessing the visible progress in those necessary things.
Points earned in this project: 28 out of 31 possible.
That one is similar to the task above. Thanks to the game it went much smoother and with fewer complaints, especially the duties I think as tedious, for example cleaning the house or tidying. Another great thing is that only one point for my “escape to” tasks like laundry helped me stop these activities for the day and attend to other also important tasks.
Points earned in this project: 28 out of 31 possible.
- Meeting and communicating with friends and family.
I am very glad about this one because of the two reasons. First, it reminded me to answer emails I forgot to answer in the everyday hectic. And the second is that I often didn’t notice that I took time with friends and family. I just was there with them and enjoyed them and my time with them. Only on two days of this month, I haven’t recorded a point for this activity. I suspect that I simply forgot to do so. Especially the discovery that I took care of my loved ones and devoted time to them without looking on the clock, brought me much joy, as I was looking at my day and counting the points. This project/activity is one of the sweetest ones and it showed me that I do not forget my loved ones while still following my passion with my work and personal projects. A note aside: even if this project was placed at one of the last positions in the list of the eleven projects, it still got almost all possible points and earned more than any of the other projects in this round. Wherever it stands, the fact that I am drawn to do something here shows that my heart’s wishes are much stronger than my Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) and doing something wrong.
Points earned in this project: 29 out of 31 possible.
- S1000D and Business blog posts.
This activity has been one of the three more procrastinated projects, or to say more precisely the projects where I earned less than half of possible points. This project, or rather two projects, since it is about writing posts on two different topics, has brought me only 13 points out of 31 possible. I have delivered the committed article, but those that I wanted to do because I thought I wanted or had to, didn’t work. Or only slightly worked, since I sketched a few words in a notebook for a post, but didn’t do anything with that after. There are of course many reasons for that, both plausible and implausible. The other projects, inability or rather lack of a wish to focus on this (when uncommitted). Maybe also I am a bit too ambitious in what I want to achieve. Or maybe my brain simply needs a project that goes “badly.” Now as I recall I had never earned all possible points in a month, even when I had only one project. So there is some braking force that says, “You can’t manage all that,” which is probably all right in itself. I’m wondering whether I will ever manage to have all points, independently how many projects I take in. If not, is it because I am afraid that I will not be willing to play the game anymore if I rich the most possible and earn the maximum available points? Hmm, I don’t know. I am curious what I will think on this in a month, year or more time.
The overall lesson learned: it looks like my life in May 2017 was successful and balanced. Giving myself points for each activity and looking closer how I did in each of them surprised me of how well I did.
Projects for June 2017:
I discovered another quirky idea my brain has produced. That I have to limit the number of projects I gamify. But now I realize that I don’t have to do so and just can observe which projects are relevant for me this month. Such an approach is nothing else than time- and project-planning. The difference is that I don’t have to force myself to do it. Instead, this task is now fun to do, and I am looking forward to the end/beginning threshold of a month to plan the next round.
So here are projects I am taking into the June round.
- New Projects (“Everywhere at home”, writing proposals on new projects, and pitching them to potential customers)
- Cheerleading for Writers -> self-edits
- BRWG CPF work
- BRWG Admin work and other S1000D work
- Book update and marketing
- 5 Minute Perseverance Game Blogging
- S1000D and Business blog
- Learning Danish
- Learning Chinese
- Meeting and communicating with friends and family
- Family and personal (official) matters
- Household and un-cluttering (including the hard disk on my computer)
- Sports or workout (at least 1 exercise)
- Sleeping at least 6 hours per night
- Doing something purely for fun
What is your opinion? Do you think such an overall gamification is too much? Or can it be just fun testing out? If you would gamify all projects and activities in your life for this particular month, what would these be?
On the picture above: there are various paths to my daughter’s daycare, and Emma likes to take one on one day and another on another. We discovered these white flowers recently after not having gone the path for a couple of days. It is simply amazing how much nature manages by simply being there.
What is this blog series about? You can find this out in its first blog post called “5 Minute Perseverance Game – Moving my Favorite Game to my Writing Blog.”
And now on how my 5 Minute Perseverance Game is progressing for various projects:
Results for days 29, 30, 31 of the round May 2017 of the 5 Minute Perseverance Game (5MPG): 8, 8, 9 points out of 11 possible for each day.
Results Total for the last 3 days in May 2017: 25 points out of 33 possible
Results Total for May 2017: 236 points out of 341 possible = 69 %; my creative and optimistic self has won made 236 points and the procrastinating self made 105. This round goes to creativity and well-being. 🙂
Results for days 1, 2, 3, 4 of the round June 2017 of the 5MPG: 9, 11, 8, 9 points out of 15 possible for each day.
Results Total for the first 4 days in June 2017: 37 out of 60 possible (more than 50 %)
Copyright © 2017 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels