Why Now Is The Best Time Ever To Gamify Your Life

5 min readMar 30, 2021


Gamification is a buzz word that we’ve all heard before — mostly in the context of ultra-trendy businesses motivating their teams. But, this beneficial sword-swinging achievement strategy shouldn’t be overlooked by the rest of us! Whether hoping to increase our productivity, enhance our life enjoyment, or stave of monotony while working from home, there’s a lot to be said for gamifying all corners of life.

The art of gamification can be applied to all manner of things, such as hitting our fitness goals, skipping social media in favour of picking up a book, or working towards our most ambitious aspirations. Kids chores can be gamified — and grown-up ones can too! With just the right touch, we can transform our day-to-day, giving ourselves the at least a little of the same rush as a binge-session playing Half Life or Call of Duty.

What Are The Benifits Of Gamification?

We all all familiar with the experience of feeling like we’re in the midst of a motivation drought. Through gamification, we can amp ourselves up to tackle the banal by offsetting the challenges at hand with the dangled carrot of a possible reward. The prizes we award ourself as we tick things off our to-do list don’t need to be physical rewards — the simple sense of accumulating points can be a reward in and of itself, triggering a release of feel-good neurochemicals such as dopamine and endorphins within our thrill-seeking brains.

According to Christopher Pappas of eLearning Industry, the benefits of gamification include big wins such as increased engagement and enhanced knowledge absorption and retention. This makes it an ideal tactic when we want to kick-start ourselves into motion towards our goals, and level-up the sense of achievement that we feel throughout the day.

How Gamification Works

While gamification sadly can’t transform the world around you into a virtual environment, or provide the opportunity to levitate or slay dragons, it can certainly give us that jubliant sense of winning. It’s a novel way to tap into a flow state that helps us to get immersed in pursuing the objectives that we usually spend time wishing we felt ready to slay — indeed, objective or dragon, the brain chemistry remains the same! Distilled to its most fundamental essence, gamification means setting ourselves up for incremental rewards, recognising the skills we build along the way, and stacking small wins into big-achievement mountains.

By incentivising ourselves along our journey, we can mimic the way that gaming makes us feel. It’s pretty logical that this works so effectively, because we are fundamentally evolved to be stimulated by problem-solving — otherwise, we would never have invented the wheel, let alone the micro-processor — and playing games simply leverages this natural feedback system.

Gamification Strategies

Tech philosopher Tom Chatfield broke down the best ways to encorporate gamification into everyday life in his fascinating 7 Ways Games Reward the Brain Ted Talk. Building on his pointers, you can try to integrate the following strategies into reaching your next set of goals:

  • Award yourself points that accumulate towards level-ups, creating an ongoing sense of progression and acheivement. Alongside tangible results, effort should always be rewarded — the form that your accumulating bounty of loot takes is entirely up to you. Whether your treasure is purely conceptual or real-world treats, it will provide a growing feeling of achievement.
  • Break down goals into long and short-term targets. A big and seeming insurmountable task can seem too daunting to take on, but baby steps rewarded by level-ups will have you sailing towards your destined kingdom in no time. Don’t forget to throw in some side quests!
  • Whether engaging gamification for yourself, family members or employees, feedback is vital for making us feel connected to the concequences of our actions. For yourself, feedback can mean reviewing your progress each time you hit a milestone — and pinpointing lessons learned and areas in which you kicked-ass. For others, highlighting growth and suggesting improvement opportunities can clarify the path to the princess/treasure/secret lair in question.
  • Adding an air of uncertainty into the mix can make gamified tasks all the more exhilerating. Chatfield described suceeding in the face of the unknown as a “neurological goldmine”. The best way we can tap into the brain-ignighting mechanism is to rev up our imagination, get creative, and have some fun.

Tools to Make Gamification Easy

As eccentric as gamification might seem to those who’ve never tried it, transforming the monotonous into thrilling missions holds the power to wake us up and boost our momentum. When we take the effectiveness of this resource into account, its no surprise that a bevvy of Apps and online tools are out there, ready to help you easily gamify your life.

That said, gamification doesn’t need to be high tech. You can reinvent simple tasks as mini-games by timing yourself or trying to beat your past results. Creating a list of small real-word rewards that you can earn as you conquer your larger targets will help you to make gamification an automatic go-to. Best of all, making a game out of life provides us the opportunity to play with others — gamification can be a great way of bonding, whether it’s with the people at home, online contacts, or colleagues who are up for experimenting. Why not try it? You’ve got nothing to lose, and a whole lot of glory to gain!

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