Now 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.