Gamifying Creative

Gamifying Creative

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By: Marvin Medina

June 30, 2021

Gamification can be a useful way to motivate yourself to achieve goals and consistently push your creativity. 

We can take some of the same skills that many of us have learned while playing video games and apply them to real-world situations. For example, we can take a large task and divide it into smaller bits to make it easier to manage. Then, you can work towards completing the task and rewarding yourself for all your effort.

Here are a few ideas that you can use to create your own game, which may just give you the daily positive reinforcement needed to continuously accomplish your goals.

The first step in turning your creative life into a game is to assign yourself a point system to track your daily wins, future goals and tangible rewards.  

The points themselves are just a way to keep track of each small step you take towards achieving your real goals. Earning points is the easiest way to track your progress, with built-in motivation to see how many points you can earn in a single day. The motivation you get from seeing your score add up each day is what will keep you focused on what matters most. 

At the beginning of this process, the points that you earn will be useful for getting to the tasks you have trouble with. For example, I woke up early today, so I earned three points. Getting to work before 8:30 gave me another 3 points. All the small tasks that give you some resistance when you think about them, assign yourself points so that you have that extra motivation before you get to it which makes completing them much more rewarding.

In the next step, we will go over the larger amounts of points you can earn when directly working towards your goals.

This concept is a really important one. Gamification is all about positive motivation. 

In order to complete the BIG goals that you have, you need to give yourself small bits of motivation to complete them. These projects are going to take multiple hours to complete so breaking them down into smaller, bite-sized goals and giving yourself points every time you complete one will ultimately add up to BIG wins. 

These wins are going to be an accumulation of all the smaller creative steps that you are taking to get over those big hurdles you come across.

If you have an illustration that is going to take you four hours, you can break that down into eight 30-minute segments. This is going to make getting that BIG task done more achievable with every segment that gets completed.

Consistency is a key component to completing your goals. 

Earning point streaks will foster good routines that will have you creating more often and get you closer to your goals. The reason I say that is because I think it’s more important to have small daily wins to build up the habit of creating everyday.

Go ahead and grant yourself streak bonuses for every day or week that you consistently create, so that you can keep building on that momentum that you’ve created from your daily practice. 

If you work a few days in a row, give yourself the credit you deserve.

Now, take a step back and see the progress you are making. 

This is the time to  incorporate levels. This is a way to give yourself long term-motivation, taking those daily wins you have been building to recognize the large amount of progress you are making. 

It might be difficult to see how you could write an entire novel or paint an entire gallery worth of paintings, however, gaining levels will instead allow you to focus on just the tangible goals of getting your daily wins.

Give yourself levels just like you would see in a video game. Maybe it takes you 100 points to get to Level 1 and maybe another 400 to get to Level 2, to get to Level 3 it takes you another 600 points. 

Keeping track of your levels may give you that extra push you need every day.

Now we get to the fun part. Reward yourself with the things you already know you will enjoy. 

After four hours of work, give yourself 30 minutes of video game time or an episode of a series you are watching. Alternatively, you have the option to save up your points for bigger long-term rewards.

Create a rewards list with things like a trip you have always wanted to take or new tools you have been wanting to pick up. A vacation could be 3000 points, for example. It should take you some time and effort to earn. This is a list you are making for yourself and your personal motivation, so really think about what will work for you.

I strongly suggest you incorporate the concept of bosses and quests into your own game. Go ahead and assign yourself books that you want to read that will help you creatively or courses on developing new skills. Something that you know you need to work on that you haven’t worked on. Give yourself a big chunk of points for completing them. Completing a course to learn a new skill, for example, could be 250 points.

These should be things you are going to accomplish, and they can also motivate you by allowing you to earn points in your spare time. These quests could take months or years to complete but every step towards conquering them deserves to be recognized.

I know that building your own spreadsheet and keeping track of all your points and rewards sounds like a lot of work, so I just wanted to pass along some cheat codes for creating your own game.

If you want to get started right away and jump into gamification, here are a few apps that can help give you the jump-start you need. “Habitica”, “Epic Win” and “SuperBetter”. 

I use Habitica myself, but there are a bunch of good options out there.

I hope this was helpful to you, and that you remember the entire purpose of your game is to make creating more fun. Hopefully, whatever way you decide to incorporate some of these ideas into your life it brings you joy and a sense of accomplishment.

Written By

+ Marvin Medina


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