A spoonful of sugar…

Just a Spoonful of Sugar...

Just a Spoonful of Sugar…

…helps gamify the work.

The famous “spoonful of sugar” song is from the 1964 Disney movie adaptation of Mary Poppins and is a great example of everyday gamification of mundane and monotonous tasks. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to watch the movie, Mary Poppins is a rather special nanny for a pair of children. When the time comes to tidy the childrens’ play room Mary Poppins turns the chore into a game and starts to sing…

In ev’ry job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap!
The job’s a game

Having watched the movie again over this Christmas break I realised that for decades we have encouraged children to turn work into game, to find fun in the boring and to find interest in the repetative and yet it is only recently that we have started to explore how games can be used to improve our productivity.

So how do you make work fun and still productive? I believe the key to answering this question is in the title of this song and the opening 4 lines, in short the key is to find the sugar that helps to make the medicine more pleasant. Find the element of fun that already exists then exploit it rather than forcing something else into the equation and never forget that too much of a good thing becomes a curse.

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