Gamifying the Job Search @ GSummit 2013


As many of you know, one of the most popular blog posts I’ve written on this site discusses how I used gamification principles to help me get a job at Google.

This blog post quickly spread to Hacker News, Business Insider, and gave me another opportunity to speak about gamification at GSummit!

(Note: None of my other blog posts haven’t been remotely close to this level of success. This was definitely a black swan event!)

Check out the video above if you’d be interested in seeing the talk, which discusses the gamified framework I used to prepare for my interview.

Would love to hear what you think!

How to Gamify Your New Year’s Resolutions (and Other Goals Too)



Note: This post originally appeared on

When I started gamifying my goals last year, I didn’t think it would become something worth sharing. I simply wanted to create an effective system for tracking and achieving my goals – especially the ones that were in dire need of motivation. Despite its humble beginnings, this gamified system has far exceeded my expectations, and has even helped me acquire a dream job of sorts.

It’s done a great deal of good for me, so I’d like to pass it along to you – especially to those of you who are ready to make sure that your New Year’s resolutions are still around in May.  So if you have (or intend to soon have) a challenging goal/resolution that would benefit from higher levels of motivation, it may be worth your while to read on.



Before we begin, a brief disclaimer is in order. This system relies heavily on rewards which are of an extrinsic nature, and there is research out there that demonstrates that the use of extrinsic rewards can potentially stifle your creativity and curiosity towards the tasks linked to those rewards.

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How to Gamify Your Life: An Experiment – Part 4

How to Gamify Your Life: An Experiment – Part 4

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
-Leonardo da Vinci

At the start of this gamification experiment, I had a detailed system of time-tracking, progress standardization, a full list of “activated abilities”, and more. The system was fun at first, but quickly became difficult to track and manage. In it’s current form, my gamification set-up is much simpler, and I think I will leave it this way. In Part 4, I will conclude this experiment with my final recommendations on how to go about gamifying your own life. I’ll also answer the questions I asked in Part 1 regarding happiness, motivation and procrastination.

If you’re at all interested in gamifying certain parts of your life, what follows in the next few paragraphs is a comprehensive overview of the system I’ve found to work best.


As the foundation to my gamification set-up (and what I’d recommend as the foundation of yours), all short-term goals are converted into “quests.” Each quest requires at least four components:
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How to Gamify Your Life: An Experiment – Part 3

How to Gamify Your Life - An Experiment

This post is Part 3 of an ongoing experiment in which I gamify my life. To catch up to speed, here’s Part 1 and Part 2. The log continues with my second and third week of the experiment.

Week Two

Wow, this week flew by! I stayed diligent with tracking my progress in my various skills, but recently I’ve been experiencing tracking fatigue.

If you recall, I’ve been using a motivational time-tracking app called “Level Me Up!” (based on the 10,000 hours to mastery rule). Although the app’s “leveling up” feature is cool in its own right, in order to motivate myself to level up, I’ve created a system of short-term incentives (usually by allowing myself to buy items I’ve had my eye on: a coffee maker, subscription to, etc.) to add an additional source of motivation. This system worked well for two weeks. Unfortunately, three challenges with this system are beginning to rear their heads:

a) Remembering to turn on the Level Me Up!’s skill timer while I’m working on a skill (and remembering to turn it off right when I’m done) have proven to be quite a nuisance because I keep forgetting. Especially at work where I’m constantly breaking for meetings, food, coffee, etc., it’s a pain to keep track of whether the timer is running or not.
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