Managing an incubation or acceleration program is one of the most intense and demanding jobs ever: you must keep yourself in a high productivity zone in order to handle the many stakeholders and adjust on the run for whatever opportunity/issue may arise. How to achieve sustained productivity while keeping stress at bay? Gamify your productivity!
Traditional project management software (i.e. Asana, ClickUp) and to-do list apps (i.e. Todoist, Google Tasks) are good for you to stay on top of your tasks, but they don’t help with the rest. In this article, we will see how it’s possible to use gamification and a different kind of productivity tool to handle your tasks while staying focused, motivated, and healthy.
The human factor: how your brain works and how to exploit it with gamification
The operation of your brain is controlled and influenced by neurochemicals. Substances like dopamine and endorphins can literally affect your happiness and drive you to do things.
Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts (Wikipedia). Gamified user experiences work well because they activate those chemicals to increase user happiness and retention.
This is exactly what we need to stay motivated and efficient!
Without further ado, let’s gamify your productivity!
The tool and the setup to gamify your productivity
Instead of cold task management and project management, at getPegasus we tried an alternative productivity tool that moves the focus on the human being and employs gamification to achieve success: Habitica.
The key here is that you don’t want to just manage your project, but also yourself. This is why we took a tool meant for self-development and we are showing you how to repurpose it for your life as an incubator/accelerator program manager.
In Habitica you create a game character, your virtual self, whose main attributes are health and experience. These are affected by your performance on 3 sets of activities: Dailies, To Do’s, Habits.
This is the list of activities you want to do every day or on a regular basis (you can set the frequency). Your dailies should include both work activities and health-related/personal activities: as we discussed at the beginning of this article, during your incubation/acceleration program you need to perform but also take care of your body and mind.
When you achieve a daily in its timeframe your character gains experience. With time, as you are building your dailies into habits, your character levels up – signifying you improved yourself in real life.
Every time you fail to complete a daily in its timeframe, your character loses health. Upon death, the character will lose all experience and a level, signalling you that you are maybe asking too much from yourself.
These are one-time tasks that need to be done once, or not on a regular schedule. The kind of tasks you would otherwise track with traditional software like Asana or Todoist. As an Accelerator/Incubator manager your To-Do list will probably have items like:
- Complete slides for the next demo days before Dec. 28
- Invite Batman as a mentor for the 2021 spring program
- Post on LinkedIn about our successful exit on company Z
- Add partner X on the accelerator’s website
You can set a due date for your To-Dos and tags to help you with filtering.
The best way to do well in your work life and personal life is to put an effort into your behaviors, to form healthy habits, and to drop bad ones.
When you engage in a good habit, click the plus icon and your virtual self will gain experience. When you engage in a bad one, click on the minus and your character will lose health. You know the drill.
In addition, when you have a positive streak or a negative streak on a habit, the tool will change its color. In the picture, you can see I had two junk-food meals in a row because I was stressed or in a hurry.
But my last meetings were timeboxed and did not go overtime, yay!
By completing activities in Habitica you also earn gold, which you can spend on Rewards. This system is meant to keep yourself motivated and remember you need treats every now and then.
- Take an evening off
- Read a non-business related book
- Watch a movie with your phone off (this could also be a habit!)
For brevity, we didn’t cover many useful features of the tool that would help you gamify your productivity, like the possibility to set the difficulty of each activity and make teams with your coworkers.
What really matters is to try a different angle to your project management where the human being is included.
Did you find this post useful? What are the key habits at work you would recommend to other incubators/acceleration program managers to gamify their productivity?
We would love to hear from you!