Do you ever gamify your day?
I do this on those days when I find it particularly hard to focus.
This is a technique that’s used by online marketers to increase engagement. They introduce game-like elements into the online experience they offer… things like scoring points, unlocking new levels, and competition.
The technical definition of gamification is applying game mechanics to a non-game situation. It can make the experience more fun… and if you’re offering something like an online course, it can increase learning and satisfaction among your users.
But it can also help you stay on top of your to-do list… especially when you’d rather just curl up and take a nap (me, today).
So, how does this work in your web-writing business? Well, truthfully, you’re only limited by your imagination. But here are some things you can try…
Pick the task on your to-do list that you’re feeling most resistant to. Consider how much time it should realistically take you to finish. Add a 10 percent buffer to that.
Now, set a timer and see if you can complete the task within the time frame without compromising quality. If you finish before the timer goes off, turn on your favorite music and hold an impromptu solo dance party in your living room.
That’s one idea. Here’s another…
Let’s say your email is stacking up, and it’s starting to create some stressful feelings. Go to random.org and roll the dice… handle that many emails without stopping. And then reward yourself with an enjoyable 10-minute break. Go sit in the sun. Or read a chapter of a book you’re enjoying. Or text a friend. Then roll the dice again, and repeat. You’ll be through your inbox before you know it, and you’ll have a little fun along the way.
And another suggestion…
Break your to-do list into micro-tasks. These are the smallest steps you can break something into. Then see how many of these small tasks you can do in a 30-minute block. However many you get done, that’s the number to beat in your next 30-minute block. If you beat your number, do something fun for a few minutes, like play your favorite online game. If you don’t beat your number, whatever number you do get is the number to beat in your next round. Get up, move around for a minute, stretch — think of an athlete getting ready for a race or a boxer getting ready for the bell to ring — and then dive back in.
Gamifying your to-do list — with rules to follow and rewards to enjoy when you do well — can rescue a low-motivation day and even make it fun.
New on the Site
There are big opportunities in the industrial sector. They need a lot of writing and they need writers who can take technical information and make it easy to read and understand. John Torre walks you through nine steps to help you write better copy for this industry.
If you’re looking for a way to get more subscribers on your email list, Andrew Murray has some suggestions on how to approach your popup form. In his latest Reality Blog, he shows you a subtle yet simple way to grow your list.
What’s the first thing you need to do when embarking on a new writing project? Get to know your audience. And these days that’s easier — and more fun — than ever. In this Roving Report, you’ll find a lot of places you can turn to for a better understanding of your audience. And when you understand your audience, you’ll be able to write stronger, more effective copy and content.
Mark Your Calendar
March 10: Are you ready for a little tough love? Ben Settle is joining us to talk about the mindset shifts writers need to make if they want to work less and make more money. Ben will cover things like common mistakes writers make when creating a product, what really holds you back from big-time success, and why it’s good to be lazy sometimes. Join us!
March 30: In this live webinar event, Jay White will join us to talk about how you can use email marketing to open the door to all sorts of new opportunities. He’ll talk about how to identify those opportunities… and how to pitch them to your clients. Make sure you don’t miss this powerful business-building event. Details will be posted soon.
Around the Web
Think informational content doesn’t matter all that much? Think again…
If you’re a web writer, marketing managers are part of your target audience. See what a week in their life looks like…
Moz has put together a very useful analysis of different content topics and what works in each one.
You can increase the perceived value of your content by using custom images. Not sure how to make that happen? Here are some tips…
That’s all for now. Make it a great week…