Ten Ways to Change Your Behavior Immediately #6: Turn it into a Game!

Work couldn’t possibly be fun… or could it?  The very word conjures up images of endless factory lines with single repetitive tasks for hours on end, or row upon row of cubicles with people chained to their desks…  Of course this is all very melodramatic, but you get the point: work is not something that most people think of as being fun.  Why that’s almost the very definition of work!

Let’s turn things on their head for a minute.  Remember how to be curious and ask yourself: how could you turn work into a game?  I can think of one way right off the bat… here you are, trying to get a stubborn primate to diligently execute some boring task it doesn’t even want to do!  What a ridiculous situation this is!  Trying to get this primate to cooperate seems harder than herding cats sometimes.  So turn your resistance into a game.  From a place of curiosity and compassion, start trying different things to see how the primate responds.  Could you actually trick him into doing work… and enjoying it?

First try making the work itself into a game.  Throw yourself a party every time you accomplish a goal, and really celebrate that victory!  Play it up, because you deserve it.  Figure out how long you think this task is going to take, add another half of that to your time estimate, and then turn it into a race against yourself!  Then turn increasing productivity into a game too.  Try giving the primate incentives: set goals and rewards for yourself, and make sure to actually treat yourself if you reach them.  Maybe keep tasty food on hand for this purpose, or commit to paying for a massage or letting yourself goof off for a bit.  Go down the list of recommendations I am giving you and try each one in turn, see if it works and why it does or doesn’t.  Keep doing what works, figure out what doesn’t, and how you need to tweak it for your next experiment.  When you are treating productivity as a game, the consequences feel much less dire and it is easy to be in good spirits about the whole thing.  This is how work becomes play!