Gamify everything

Finger_Grip_Sponge_ScourerNow that I have a bit more time on my hands I am getting round to that long list of jobs that I had managed to put off.  The latest foray into DIY hell was to clean the gutters and paint the soffits.  They were dirty and overdue a clean but I would have had to get the ladders  out and there was always something more pressing.

I have never really understood the phrase ‘gamify everything’ until today but as I stood on the twelfth rung of my ladder, with my nose pressed to the brickwork and scrubbing away at the gutters with the rough side of a pan scourer it all came to me.

You see, unwittingly I had made a game of it.  I had a bucket of hot soapy water at the bottom of the ladder.  It was too heavy to drag all the way to the top.  I had two sponges, a big car sponge for an initial clean and a pan scourer to get rid of the dried on algae.  

Each sponge would only stay clean for about a metre of guttering and so I was up and down the ladder to the bucket.  After each wipe I tried to aim the sponge at the bucket.  It is a difficult thing to hit a bucket from thirty feet.  When I eventually hit it I cheered as if I had won the lottery.

In order to pass the time and to turn a monotonous job into an amusing one I had gamified what I was doing.  The game was to hit the bucket with the sponge.  Alright, it may not be the most exciting entertainment but in a moment the task was completed.  The game had helped me get through the tedium.

On reflection this is something that I do all the time, especially if it is something I don’t really want to get on with.

By the way it is about three time easier to hit a bucket with a car sponge than it is with a pan scourer.  It may be something to do with size, weight or even the differential aerodynamics of the smaller sponge.  My hit rate was very small.

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