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Thread: Gamification success

  1. #1
    Member repo_man's Avatar
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    Gamification success

    EDIT: In hindsight, this post looks like some clumsy advertisement. My purpose is not to benefit financially; I am not offering a subscription link where I'd get a commission. My purpose is to exchange views on a project I find life-changing. If someone wants to try out my ideas, I will be happy to help.


    Folks,
    I've been experimenting with gamification ideas. Early this summer I finally implemented a system to gamify my domestic chores and many other tasks on my to do -list. I have been using it for a few months now.

    And it works.

    My home home has transformed into a much cleaner place and it stays that way. I meet more people now. Every day, no matter how difficult, I find the motivation to complete some tasks. And all this is from a lazy INTP.

    Technically, my system is fairly easy for anyone to copy. It is about as easy as building a simple Excel spreadsheet. A smart phone is needed and ideally a PC or at least a tablet. The bit which may take some time and persistence is learning how to break larger undertakings into tasks that fit nicely into the system.

    Brief description: I list my tasks in Todoist application and the system rewards points for every completed task. These points are shown in a Google Sheets spreadsheet and I spend them to play computer games. To clarify, I don't play any more computer games than I did previously. The absolute amount of time spent on games can be adjusted; the system can be calibrated. What happens is that the relative amount of time I spend on games each week depends on how much many chores I do. Nowadays I tend to do more chores. Obviously, someone else might choose other rewards than games.

    More technical details: I have Todoist Premium subscription ($29 per year) which allows me to use tags. Each task has a tag which is of the form "reward_015". The number at the end signifies points, in this case 15 points. My Todoist is linked to an "applet" on the free IFTTT service that triggers every time a task is completed and adds a row to a Google Sheets spreadsheet. The spreadsheet has a parsing formula that extracts the number of points from each completed task and presents a grand total which I can read on my mobile phone or PC. To spend points (one point spent for each minute of playing games), I have IFTTT buttons on my phone. Pressing the "1h played" button adds a row with the number "-60" to the Google Sheets spreadsheet mentioned above. For accurate tracking of game session lenght, I use a free application called ManicTime.

    Is this project of interest to someone here? Does someone believe this kind of system can motivate you to do 10% more tasks every day? Does someone believe it might make sense to actually pay the $29 and implement this system?
    For out there in the SJ world, they just think I am an oddity.
    Last edited by repo_man; 10-11-2017 at 04:03 AM.

  2. #2
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    This sounds really useful for some people. I think @pensive_pilgrim also uses a system with ToDoist.

    This also reminds me of a game I read about for people with depression, awarding points for tasks. What was it..? SuperBetter.

    Your interface seems particularly elegant.
    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
    As a soldier, yes. But as a civilian I lived an austere life.

  3. #3
    Member repo_man's Avatar
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    Thank you for your feedback, TeresaJ. I've read the gamification book by SuperBetter's creator Jane McGonigal. It is called "Reality is Broken" and the title suggests that reality in its current form is a poorly designed a game which needs to be fixed in order to be more motivating.

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    Member repo_man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stigmatica View Post
    Reads a bit infomercialy
    The way it came out may have put too much emphasis on the $29 subscription. I have no financial ties to Todoist other than using their product. Some free application could probably be used in Todoist's place. Todoist's free version won't allow passing labels to IFTTT.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by repo_man View Post
    The way it came out may have put too much emphasis on the $29 subscription. I have no financial ties to Todoist other than using their product. Some free application could probably be used in Todoist's place. Todoist's free version won't allow passing labels to IFTTT.
    Thanks for the clarification. You should pretend a brand new member nobody has ever heard of wrote the OP and read it. What do you think? LOL

    Personally, I'm averse to the idea for myself. However, I have a brother that something like this might be perfect for. For him, it would be a way of showing his work to the critical people in his life.
    Quote Originally Posted by mara View Post
    my crime is that i disrupted the echo chamber

  6. #6
    Noble Asshole Horatio's Avatar
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    Todoist user here, too. The premium subscription is probably the only app subscription I've ever paid for because it is rather brilliant: nothing superfluous, just your tasks, and the app works on all devices.

    I also like that once a year (I think around New Year's), they send you an eye-candyish summary of stats of all the things you've accomplished, and how you measure up against other people. If you haven't seen that yet, you're in for a treat.

    ...oh yes, the actual subject, gamification: It's neat you've developed a system that works for you. I'd find gamification distracting (apps like Habitica gross me out), and since I can't stand leaving things undone, my to-do list gets cleared no matter what anyway. But whatever works. In fact it's refreshing to see someone actively take charge of their life and motivation. Not many people seem to be able to do this.

  7. #7
    Member repo_man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio View Post
    since I can't stand leaving things undone, my to-do list gets cleared no matter what anyway. But whatever works.
    You are lucky to have such determination.

    My philosophy is that a master task list will never be empty. There are always useful things we can do if we have some time. I can put half-baked or unimportant ideas onto the task list and later decide whether they should be assigned points or deleted. Some of my tasks have "DEFINE BETTER" text on them so that the first task is to refine them into more actionable form.

    Or do you mean your to-do list gets cleared of tasks that are assigned to a particular day or week? In my opinion, to-do apps are very good reminding us of recurring tasks twice a week, every month, every six months or whatever. For my part, I don't always complete tasks that are due on a particular day. This is because I find it difficult to know in advance how much time and energy I will have each day. When I have more time on another day I can tick off those overdue tasks and collect the points.

  8. #8
    tsuj a notelpmis QuickTwist's Avatar
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    It won't work for me.
    But your individuality and your present need will be swept away by change,
    and what you now ardently desire will one day become the object of abhorrence.
    ~ Schiller - 'Psychological Types'

  9. #9
    Member repo_man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stigmatica View Post
    I have a brother that something like this might be perfect for. For him, it would be a way of showing his work to the critical people in his life.
    My Google Sheets spreadsheet of completed tasks makes for a boring reading with so many domestic chores. I guess your brother could use his spreadsheet as a reminder and present highlights to those who don't think he's done anything with his time.

  10. #10
    Member repo_man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuickTwist View Post
    It won't work for me.
    Point taken (edit: no pun intended). Would you like to expand?

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