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5 Game mechanics to improve productivity

In this article series called "5 times 5", we will explore some basics around gamification, nudging & behavioural design.

How do we stay productive when working with complex tasks in a digital landscape full of distractions? Can gamification help?


1. The Power of small wins
If you have a large, complex task to complete; try dividing it into several smaller pieces that you can check when you are finished.

2. Finish the bar
If there is a bar, we normally want to close it. This is why we don’t leave one, single piece of chocolate in an empty row in the box, and this is why we drink the last drop from the milk bottle, even if we are not thirsty anymore. So if you take your smaller pieces of work and put them into different bars or containers where you can mark every progress you make, it will probably make you motivated to finish the bar before giving up.

3. Start on the right level
If you start with a very short bar, that only takes a few tasks to complete, it will feel easy in the beginning and you will start to make progress fast. This way we keep motivation high in the beginning, we can make it more challenging to ourselves as soon as we are in “the game”.

4. Rewards
Give yourself a nice treat after finishing a bar, but start with something small and save the best for last.

5. Try reaching flow-state
Make sure you have everything you need to dig into your work. That your skills is on the right level, you have the right support and amount of time, and a clear purpose about what you want to achieve with your work. Turn off notifications and give yourself some dedicated time for this specific task. 



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