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Gamify Your Work


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Looming deadlines, demanding clients, boring projects, and even feelings of fatigue that may signal the beginnings of burnout any of these everyday afflictions can making it tough to dredge up the …

Looming deadlines, demanding clients, boring projects, and even feelings of fatigue that may signal the beginnings of burnout any of these everyday afflictions can making it tough to dredge up the energy to be psyched about your work and be amazing at what you do. These feelings can disappear if we shift our perspective to gamify work. Let's look at how we can bring gamification theories and practices to our work to spur the process of enhancing productivity and innovation to produce easily, better, more, and get the epic win.

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  • 1. Gamify Your Work Denise R. Jacobs <AngleBrackets /> Conference Las Vegas, NV 28 October 2013
  • 2. Twitter Game On! I am: @denisejacobs This fine event is: #anglebrackets And I’m talkin’ ‘bout: #gamifyingwork
  • 3. I like to make stuff
  • 4. I did write this
  • 5. Speaker + Author + Creativity Evangelist Used with permission:
  • 6. Let’s go!
  • 7. Watch this much?
  • 8. Like her?
  • 9. Or him?
  • 10. An alternative
  • 11. In this book…
  • 12. Some people’s reality
  • 13. Food for thought “The opposite of play isn’t work. It’s depression.” - Brian Sutton-Smith, The Ambiguity of Play
  • 14. Most people’s attitude about work
  • 15. Could it be like this?
  • 16. Work or games?
  • 17. Game on
  • 18. Low energy at work?
  • 19. You need to shift focus It’s your neurological system’s indication that you are squandering energy on the wrong goals.
  • 20. Our natural preference Challenge over boredom also Productivity over dissipation
  • 21. But here’s the problem Photo courtesty of Flickr
  • 22. Work vs. Play Source: [5] Work Game Tasks repetitive, dull repetitive, fun Feedback once a year constantly Goals contradictory, vague clear Path to Mastery unclear clear Rules unclear, intransparent clear, transparent Information too much and not enough right amount at the right time Failure forbidden, punished, don't talk about expected, encouraged, spectacular, it brag about it Status of Users hidden transparent, timely Promotion kiss-up-o-gracy meritocracy Collaboration yes yes Speed/Risk low high Autonomy mid to low high Narrative only if you are lucky yes Obstacles accidential on purpose
  • 23. Make work more like play!
  • 24. More specifically, play games Photo from Denise Jacobs
  • 25. You may ask
  • 26. Because “Playing games is more fun than fun.” - Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken
  • 27. Gamefulness
  • 28. Gamification The use of game play mechanics for nongame applications.
  • 29. Game Mechanics
  • 30. Game Mechanics Principles, rules, and/or mechanisms that govern a behavior through a system of incentives, feedback, and rewards with reasonably predictable outcome. 
  • 31. Game Mechanics Achievements Appointments Behavioral Momentum Blissful Productivity Bonuses Cascading Information Theory Combos Community Collaboration Countdown Discovery Epic Meaning Free Lunch Infinite Gameplay Levels Loss Aversion Lottery Ownership Points Progression Quests Reward Schedules Status Urgent Optimism Virality
  • 32. Game Mechanics are building blocks
  • 33. You can take these blocks
  • 34. And string them together
  • 35. To drive a complex sequence
  • 36. Gaming Dynamics Temporal evolution and patterns of both the game and the players that make the game (or any gamified activity) more enjoyable.
  • 37. Such as •  Rules •  Parameters •  Time limits •  Players •  Environment
  • 38. gMechanics+gDynamics+Work=Awesome Google Zurich
  • 39. Some pointers
  • 40. Stop multitasking
  • 41. Figure out some new goals
  • 42. Food for thought: “In the absence of clearly defined goals, people are forced to concentrate on activity and ultimately become enslaved by it.” - Charles Coonradt, The Game of Work
  • 43. Banish the Inner Critic
  • 44. It’s an inside game
  • 45. Shift your stress
  • 46. Negative stress
  • 47. Negative Stress You experience negative stress when you are afraid of failure or danger, and perceive pressure coming from external sources.
  • 48. Eustress
  • 49. Eustress Eustress, which comes from internally motivated actions and choices – is stress that we have willingly chosen.
  • 50. Eustress is good, mmkaay? Eustress makes people feel focused and optimistic, alert, determined, persistent, and exhilarated. Eustress further makes us more ambitious and likely to succeed, try new things, cooperate with others, and gives us a sense of achievement.
  • 51. Game Changer: Change the question Instead of wondering “Can I do this?” ask yourself “How can I do this?”
  • 52. Fiero
  • 53. Caveat Gamer Courtesy of Flickr
  • 54. Play to your strengths
  • 55. DO NOT focus on your weaknesses
  • 56. Why? You will only improve 10-15 % (and it will be painful) - Tom Rath, Strengths Finder 2.0
  • 57. Ready?
  • 58. (1) Commit to overcome self-chosen challenges
  • 59. (1) Commit to overcome self-chosen challenges When you engage in a game, you sign yourself up to tackle unnecessary obstacles in the spirit of learning and having fun. See if you can weave this approach into your work life.
  • 60. (2) Set-up clear goals, steps, feedback & rewards
  • 61. (2) Set-up clear goals, steps, feedback & rewards As humans we are optimized to do work and we are happier working hard than relaxing. More satisfying work comes from clear missions, a clear path to get to the desired outcomes, reliable feedback of our progress, and rewards that we value.
  • 62. Feedback The faster and more clear the feedback, the more motivated you are to move forward.
  • 63. Rewards May not be what you are thinking (ie, money). Sometimes the reward of doing something well, learning something new, helping others, etc. is more than enough.
  • 64. (3) Keep upping the ante
  • 65. Feel the rush By undertaking a difficult challenge, accomplishing something difficult, participating in moving experiences, and stimulating our curiosity, we stimulate a rush of neurochemicals which make us feel confident, energetic, highly motivated, excited, proud, satisfied, powerful and in control.
  • 66. Embrace #FAIL
  • 67. Fun failure Contrary to popular thought, “fun failure” actually energizes us and lends a sense of urgent, but flexible optimism.
  • 68. Urgent Optimism
  • 69. Maintain urgent optimism With urgent optimism comes extreme selfmotivation: the desire to act immediately to tackle an obstacle combined with the belief that we have a reasonable hope of success.
  • 70. (4) Make it Epic
  • 71. (4) Make it Epic Things epic are those of heroic proportions which far surpass the ordinary, especially in size, scale, and intensity.
  • 72. Game Changer: An Epic mind game Envision yourself embarking upon a challenge that is so awe-inspiring to you that it makes clear your place in the larger scheme of things, stimulates a desire to serve, and gives you a sense of reverence or participating in an expansive process that unites you with others as part of a bigger whole.
  • 73. An “Epic Win” An outcome that is so extraordinarily positive that is you didn’t know it was possible until you achieved it.
  • 74. What’s your gaming personality?
  • 75. Are you a…? •  Achiever •  Explorer •  Socializer •  Killer
  • 76. Achiever
  • 77. Achiever Prefer to gain "points," levels, equipment and other concrete measurements of succeeding in a game. Will go to great lengths to achieve rewards that confer them little or no gameplay benefit simply for the prestige of having it.
  • 78. Achiever suggestions •  Sign yourself up to win the grand prize in employee competitions
  • 79. Socializer
  • 80. Socializer Choose to play games for the social aspect, rather than the actual game itself. Gain the most enjoyment from a game by interacting with other players
  • 81. Socializer suggestions •  Create lunch and learns to help the team share information and learn from each other
  • 82. Explorer
  • 83. Explorer Prefer discovering areas, creating maps and learning about hidden places.
  • 84. Need to look around at their own pace
  • 85. Particularly like finding
  • 86. Explorer suggestions •  Discover things that people overlook
  • 87. Game Changer: Find untapped knowledge
  • 88. Killer
  • 89. Killer Thrive on competition with other players Most interested in affecting their environment
  • 90. Seek worthy opponents to test skills
  • 91. Killer suggestions •  Create “Collabetition” relationships at work
  • 92. Some tips for
  • 93. Curiosity is key
  • 94. Create an Epic Meaning Statement
  • 95. “Real-world” quest
  • 96. There’s an app for that
  • 97. Minimize Time to Flow
  • 98. The goal?
  • 99. Blissful productivity
  • 100. What’s that? The sense of being deeply immersed in your work that produces immediate and obvious results.
  • 101. Finding Flow
  • 102. Tiny Habits
  • 103. The structure
  • 104. 2 modifications 1.  In the positive 2.  Present tense
  • 105. Anchor to a current habit
  • 106. Congratulate yourself
  • 107. Big results
  • 108. What will all of this make you?
  • 109. Awww yeah!
  • 110. Go from unfocused
  • 111. To finding focus
  • 112. Get your kudos
  • 113. Your changes
  • 114. Can infect others
  • 115. Now’s the time to
  • 116. Why?
  • 117. And instead of being like this at work
  • 118. You can be like this!
  • 119. No more being a passive spectator
  • 120. Don’t be chicken, get your game on!
  • 121. It’s your move – what’s it going to be?
  • 122. My books The CSS Detective Guide Smashing Books #3 & #3 1/3 InterAct With Web Standards: My chapter: “Storytelling in Webdesign” My chapter: “Learning with the Web”
  • 123. My articles for further reading four-secrets-enhancingcreative-productivity reigniting-your-creative-spark/ banishing-your-inner-critic/
  • 124. How to find me Photo used with permission:
  • 125. Thank You!