When I first started gamifying my personal goals in 2011, my first major success was something I’ve dubbed Weekend Warrior. This gamified system is designed to develop weekend work ethic. Since beginning use of this system in 2011, I’ve seen my work ethic improve dramatically. As a result, I’ve achieved a lot more than I ever thought I could in 2012 (and 2013 is off to a great start too).
Below is the most recent iteration, which I put into action soon after moving to San Francisco:
- Learning to code
- Proactively reaching out to fading contacts
- Cooking a new dish
- Experimenting with new gamified goal systems
After each work session, take note of how long you worked for, and mark it on one post-it note (in the image above, it’s the one on the right). Each row on the post-it note should include the time spent on that session (i.e. 1.4 hours), and a running total of how many hours you’ve accumulated since beginning (i.e. 26.2 hours).
As your running total surpasses the 1st hour, 2nd hour, etc., circle off that respective hour on the other post-it note. Once you’ve circled off the last hour on the post-it (in the post-it note above my goal is 15 hours), you earn a reward (in the image above, listed on the bottom of the left-hand post-it note).
After about one month of tracking my weekend work ethic with this system, I noticed much less resistance when it was time to buckle down and get things done on the weekend. That urge to procrastinate slowly vanished. And at this point, two years later, it feels completely natural to spend a few hours in a coffee shop every Saturday working on personal projects.
Ready to get started? I recommend using post-it notes, but that’s a personal preference. If your work involves something you’d do on a computer, I recommend keeping Timer Tab pinned in your browser. It will even show you the time in the favicon area for quick reference.