28th July 2018

Designing your ‘Game of Life’ for pleasure and profit

Good habits are sometimes hard to keep up. There was a time that I found it easy to write a blog on my web site regularly, and to post on social platforms (articles as opposed to updates or comments). It was easy, I would argue, because it was a habit. Topics came easily, simply because I was writing regularly.

Then, a number of circumstances seemingly conspired to make it harder for me to maintain this habit. A really busy period of work, including extended periods without reliable access to the Internet made it difficult to post. That was followed by quite a debilitating time, characterised by anxiety and bouts of low mood culminating in an episode of depression.

The chain of habit was broken, and the longer the pause, the more difficult it seemed to get back on track. But get back on track I must, and this is the second post I have written which I hope will be the start of a new writing habit.

One of the models I’ve found most useful when considering not just my own motivations, but how to best motivate learners and programme participants, is Yu-Kai Chou’s Octalysis Framework. From my own perspective it allows me to reflect on what I find motivating and to evaluate how well particular activities will motivate me. Most importantly, it allows me to use a systematic approach to consciously ‘designing’ my daily work activities, to give me the best chance of carrying out my desired behaviours and achieving my goals.

‘The Game of Life’ is by no means a new idea, but Yu-Kai has taken this idea more literally than most us, getting us to think about framing our plans and achievements as if we were participating in a video game. What are your stats in your life skills? How will you plan to keep those skills polished and improve them over time? What quests will you undertake to reach your goals and what allies will you take with you?

Have you had experience of ‘designing’ your life game in this way? How has it worked out for you? What other frameworks / models do you use to maintain your actions when things get tough or your goals seem out of reach?

Image by James Jones on Flickr

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