Illustration by Christian Leborg


How to make work into a game

To become an indispensable, creative professional, your income will affect how your skills improve your work. Let’s make a game of it.

As a creative professional, your career has not developed as you imagined. It was not the success you had envisioned; the salary is not enough for a decent life, and you do not even have time to do the most important things. How much you feel your work is worth has made you consider other career paths. It seems like it is not possible to get you out of this mess because the work is hard and it takes up all your time.
You have something to show for, from work, be it your portfolio, or your financial assets or liabilities. This has made you look more closely at the values you pursue in your work and in life. You have even specified what you are selling your work for. This has made you look more closely at your expenses, and even found some examples of professionals in your niche who have made a much better deal.
Contacting and communicating with other professionals who perform the work and have the life you envision. Make it clear if you in your current position get rewards in relation to the energy you use. By analysing what these people tell you about their professional journey, you realise what values your expertise should contribute to. You understand what skills you need and identify the skills you already have. You have data about your performance - now you need to improve it.
Save the world.–Katie Patrick
By imagining what you would do if you did not have to work to make a living, you can get ideas on how to solve the problem. The data shows your performance and why the results are as they are, and suggests a solution that is future-oriented. Explain why these suggestions are important. You need ideas that make you work smarter and that make you use better strategies to reduce the gap between your current professional and financial situation and your goals.
Make a large chart of total income and expenses. From the values they specify, you declare an assignment for your future work. The assignment is a compass with a plan for what skills you need to master to get the work you want. Create timelines with milestones and schedules. Make a game of work and define what rewards you will earn by reaching your goals. Feedback is more effective when it contains details on how to solve a problem. 
The feedback loop
By visualising the results on a graph of total income and expenses over time, you will see patterns in your finances. After deciding on a skills improvement idea, create a graph to show how good you have become. In the whirlwind of your daily activities, you have only one thing to focus on that you have predicted will affect the goal you have given yourself. It is easier for you to change your behaviour than to change your self-image.

Feedback loops in games. Game design features can enhance positive and negative feedback. System is continually learning from itself.

  • You interact with the game system
  • Results are disclosed to people in the system
  • You get negative feedback when you take an undesired action
  • You get rewarded when you take a positive action
  • The default condition change to support the desired action

Katie Patrick

Make a simple scoreboard of the efforts you have made and the results of the efforts. Focus on the extremely specific goal and see if the assumption affects your end goal. Let’s say your specific goal is to work less than fifty hours a week and earn sixty thousand dollars a year (you choose from which country). You decide to focus on ‘the one thing’* which is a productivity method. The scorecard will show results if you focus on ‘the one thing.
The scoreboard, which also acts as a progress bar, gives you feedback quickly and frequently. Getting positive feedback about your progress is the best way to give you more motivation to keep going. The chart shows financial decisions made over time, while learning skills shows how you can work more focused and thus work less. To make your work a game, you must have an extremely specific goal. By having only one thing to focus on, there is no room for multitasking.
Have someone who holds you accountable for the goal you have set for yourself and who gets you from point A to point B within a certain time frame. If the activities do not change the results over time. You have to come up with new ideas that work better than what you did in the past and that you can predict will lead to a result. The activities you carry out must lead to results, because the battles you choose must win the war.
Your task of changing your work and life helps to minimise the gap between reality you are in–and your vision. The motivation and strength you have to influence these results will give you progress in the game and in your work. By turning a task into a game, you and others are likely to succeed. The result depends on how fast you make a difference and whether you make it happen again.
The difference between feedback and rewards in a game is fluid. Getting excellent results, seeing progress and seeing placement feels like a reward. But getting a star, a badge or an award gives you status and a better reputation compared to other players or your former self. The prices can be about how much work you have done and the progression you have had. How many assignments have you completed? Have you gotten from lower to a higher level?
This is a story about how you got from a problematic situation to an improved state by using game strategies to improve your skills, your work, and your income. Work-life and games resemble each other. You do activities you think will lead to a goal and then measure the results. To become a sought-after creative professional, you need to improve your skills and increase your earnings. Make work into a game.

Exercise: Make a game to solve a problem