When you're playing a video game, you become completely absorbed in what you're doing, and you're completing tasks while time is flying by. Using some of the principles game designers use, you can apply that same concept of flow to your work.
Picture: me and the sysop/Flickr
Video games suck you in and hold your attention in a way that's beyond other mediums. They have a flow, or a way about them makes you want to keep playing. The visuals, sounds and interactions are all designed to make you want to play more. Jonathan Harrison at Fast Company has a few tips for how you can make your own work flow like a video game:
- Minimise visual distractions: Games know exactly how to keep you focused on the task at hand. Know what needs to be done and keep your focus on the areas you can control.
- Select the soundtrack: Music has long been known to help your motivation, but music from film and video game soundtracks can be particularly uplifting. Listening to soundtracks is pleasing to the ears while not being too distracting.
- Enforce time limits: Games keep you involved with a sense of urgency. Track your time and give yourself time limits so you feel a sense of urgency with your work.
- Create multiple stages: Break big things down into little parts. Many games have many levels or stages that break up the whole experience, and doing so with your work will give you little milestones to celebrate as you go.
- Reward yourself for success: This is something games do incredibly well because there's no reason to keep playing unless you get something as you progress. Give yourself little rewards as you work and reach milestones to keep your motivation at its peak.
It's hard to argue that video games are productive, but it doesn't mean that there aren't lessons to be had from their design. If you can find a good work flow, you'll be levelling up and beating the game of work in no time. To get more great tips on crafting your work flow around video game inspiration, check out the link below.