Gamification For Productivity

“Gamification” has become a buzzword in recent years among the tech crowd, but it has spilled over into other arenas as well. With the pervasiveness of smartphone apps and new websites popping up every day, “gamification” seems to be everywhere. At its simplest, it’s just a way of introducing elements of gaming into other tasks.

There are lots of ways to do this: common elements include earning points, gaining levels, and sometimes earning achievements, badges, or prizes. There’s gamification for working out, buying coffee, listening to music, shopping, recycling, and eating out. While retailers and marketers have been using gamification to their best advantage, gamification can also be used to increase productivity, whether in individuals or in a team.

To encourage general productivity, take a look at HabitRPG, which has a website and an iOS app. At its heart, it’s a to-do app, but “RPG” stands for Role-Playing Game, which HabitRPG uses to incentivize productivity. There are four different elements when you start out using the program: habits, dailies, to-dos, and rewards. Habits are actions that you want to either encourage or avoid, but don’t have a specific frequency. Dailies are tasks that you want to repeat on a regular basis: every day, once a week, etc. To-dos are one-off tasks like on any other to-do app. Rewards are things you can purchase by completing your tasks. You earn a certain amount of gold and a certain amount of experience points for each task. Experience points let you level up and eventually unlock different game elements. Gold allows you to buy rewards. As you level up, the game introduces a market, item drops, pets, armor, and other elements. It’s a fun way to keep all of your productivity items in one place with a dynamic and well thought-out incentive scheme.

If you like the idea of a gamified productivity app but don’t need quite as many features, Carrot is an iOS app with a mean streak. It’s a minimalist to-do app that is very user friendly and unlocks features as you gain points. Be warned, though: Carrot has a personality, and if you don’t complete your tasks, she gets angry. How many points you get and how she talks to you depend on what mood she’s in. Carrot is a quirky app that is probably the most unique of the bunch, and worth checking out if only for its surprises.

EpicWin is another RPG productivity program that gives you points and prizes for your real-world tasks. Here again, you can choose your character and level them up as you go. You can’t yet spend gold on things, but EpicWin is in the process of being developed.

If you’re looking to be more productive with a specific task or process, try SuperBetter. SuperBetter gives you tasks, quests, power-ups, and “bad guys” depending on your specific journey, like exercising more, increasing willpower, stress relief, or improving your relationships. It’s not a productivity app in itself, but improving these aspects of your life can definitely improve the rest of it.

If the area of productivity you’re struggling with is managing your finances, there are programs for that, as well. SaveUp is a program tailored to incentivize saving and making smart financial choices. It gives you credits for the choices you make, and you can cash them in to contests with real prizes, or you can cash them out. SmartyPig is a website that also focuses on saving, though a little less gamified than SaveUp. SmartyPig makes saving automatic, and it also rewards you for meeting your goals.

If you’re not so interested in using apps or websites, gamification doesn’t have to involve technology: you can use game elements on your own. The best way to go about it is to start by identifying the tasks that you have a hard time completing or that you want to incentivize. For each of those tasks, determine a point value. You may also want to assign them different categories. Maybe doing the dishes gets you two blue points, but cleaning the bathroom gets you eight red points.

From there, identify rewards, positive (but not goal-subverting) actions or items, and assign them point values as well. Then, to get your rewards, you first have to do enough tasks to afford them. Don’t stop there. When you’re defining your own system, you can get pretty creative. Find ways to allow you to “level up” or do a boss battle: what really big challenge do you have coming up, or what milestone can you celebrate passing? Give yourself constant ways to progress, and you’ll see yourself finding ways to become more productive while having a little fun on the way.

Defining Personal Productivity

For me, personal productivity means the ability to deliver results when needed, may it be something to your boss or for yourself. Furthermore, the results should be achieved without too much negative stress. How often have you achieved this? Most of us have been truly productive quite seldom. I think that this is something that can be developed, by learning a specific set of six crucial skills. I’ll run them down for you below.

Learning is important for personal productivity. Just think about all the new stuff and things we need to learn, only to keep functioning. If nothing else, the user interface of Facebook has suddenly changed, and you have to learn that all again. Ways to learn more easily include faster reading, using mind maps, and for the more advanced also mnemonics (the art of memory tricks).

Organization skills are also very important, as we are constantly overflowed with new things, papers, and information. Some things we should keep and store, others we should immediately get rid of, or they will just increase the amount of clutter lying around. Personal organization methods can really come handy at such situations. Just think what it means to your productivity,when you manage to find that receipt from 2 months ago within 30 seconds of the situation when you need them.

I see time management as a sub skill to personal productivity. With time management, we refer to the art of keeping your calendar in order, and managing task and email. Good time management also means minimizing the time used for procrastination.

In order to get results, we also have to keep fit mentally. Stress will wear you down, if you are not careful. Luckily there exists practices like mediation, but doing sports and meting friends will do as well. The point is, however, this: even in the most hectic work situations, keep calm. With a stable mind, everything is easier, which leads to increased productivity.

One interesting area is creativity. Our work today if filled with problems, and basically we all get paid for solving them. Can you imagine that there actually exists dozens of small tools to help you on that area? Having creativity handy when you need it, will help you finish that presentation your boss is waiting for, making you both happy. Your boss gets his fast delivery, and you can go home earlier.

Last but not least we have decision making. We all know people who cannot make even the smallest decision, they simply don’t have the guts to do it. What do I say again? There exists tools to help you.

Putting in some effort and studying even little in the areas above will help your personal productivity.

Just Ask These 4 Essential Questions To Find The Best Affiliate Product For You

If you’re just starting out in the internet marketing world, then it’s likely that you’ll turn to affiliate marketing for some quick income. Affiliate marketing is easy to do, once you’ve chosen your product. But from all the offers available, how do you find the best affiliate product for you?

Well, that’s easy too, you just need to answer these four essential questions, to make sure that your affiliate career gets off to a great start!

No.1. Are You Interested In The Product You’re Marketing?

This definitely comes first. Just as when choosing a product to create yourself, you need to pick an affiliate product that you’re interested in or already know about. For example something connected with one of your hobbies or leisure activities, or previous employment.

Having this kind of connection to the affiliate product, will help to bring your personal experience into your promotion and will maintain your own interest when you’re doing your marketing.

You’ll find this of most help if you’re using the regular blogging and article marketing, which is recommended for the best affiliate product promotion. It’s always so much easier to write about something with which you’re familiar, rather than trying to make up a post for something that you don’t know about and have no real interest in. If you do go down that route, you’re likely to find your initial enthusiasm waning quite quickly and your promotional output slipping as well.

No.2. What Is The Commission Rate?

When you’re looking for the best affiliate product, you’re intending to make a profit. That means earning more from sales than you pay out in expenses. So, obviously, the commission rate that’s paid, coupled with the products selling price, is of prime importance.

The way to approach this step to finding the best affiliate product, is to take the subjects that interest you and compare the different affiliate offers in those markets, until you find the higher value products and their commission rates.

Obviously, at any given commission rate, the more expensive the product, the more profit you make. So, generally, the higher value products will be the best bet. However, you’ll also need to assess the product’s saleability as well (No.3.), in order to decide the overall profitability of the product.

This is something to be learnt from experience and a good step right now would be to have a look at the range of offers on ClickBank.com and familiarize yourself with the sales statistics they give for each offer.

No.3. Will The Product Be Saleable?

Here you need to consider the saleability of the product. By that I mean, is it likely to be popular. Is it something that people will want and is it something that your target market will find both affordable and value for money.

These are the key elements that will achieve the product sales, once the prospects have arrived at your site. Another aspect that will make sales easier, is if the product is seen as unique or is easily recognizable to customers, for example by having a brand name or trademark.

Picking a product that has this sort of individuality, will make it easier for you to carry out your search engine optimization and will bring more focused traffic to your site, than will a general product description.

No.4. Is The Product Merchant Well Established?

If you are right at the beginning of your own internet business, the best affiliate product to choose will be one from an established seller. Here you’ll get the benefit of knowing that all the production and commission systems are set up and bug free, and all you need to do is concentrate on making the sales.

Well established merchants will often have good quality sales aids, like ads and banners and sometimes offer affiliate help lines. They’re also more likely to have the benefit of some brand recognition, which will help your own sales and marketing.

So, if you’re ready to start, two of the best known places to take a look at are ClickBank.com and Commission Junction. Take some time and look around these sites to see how they work, what’s on offer and how the commissions are paid.

Then, wherever you choose your product remember to answer these four questions to find the best affiliate offer for you.