Consider the Interval-Training Design to Boost Productivity

Consider the Interval-Training Design to Boost Productivity

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interval training for productivity

Short bursts of energy can lead to more workplace productivity 

The fitness and weight-loss world is being revolutionized by the popular concept of interval training – the concept is as simple as it is effective: alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity instead of steady-state pacing throughout the exercise.

Take walking for example. If you’re in good shape, you might incorporate short bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walks. If you’re less fit, you might alternate leisurely walking with periods of faster walking. Gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts as you physically and mentally adapt to your routine.

Interval training improves your aerobic capacity, strength and endurance; even more importantly, it keeps boredom at bay and makes working out achievable so that you stay motivated to keep your routine up.

Couldn’t we also apply this model to our gamification design for a similar effect on workplace productivity?

interval training for productivity

Adapting “interval training” mentality at your workplace morphs it into an effective tool that helps elevate productivity (your own and also that of your team-members). Gamification facilitates the interval process by providing clear call-to-actions that can constitute as high-intensity bursts or recovery time, depending on the nature of the assignment. Doing so enhances employees’ focus and concentration by announcing the task at hand and the gamified rewards for completing it.

Managers can, therefore, control the length, frequency and required effort of each interval – utilizing the Gamification platform to not only boost motivation, but to also keep it constant. Working in intervals reinforces the determination to achieve goals, knowing that even though the current interval is perhaps complex and challenging, the next one will be easier and will allow the user the needed downtime to recover. This strengthens the workforce’s determination to keep on applying itself in the face of complicated situations, making continual improvement possible.

One way to increase the intensity for a short period of time is to integrate “boosters” into everyday work. Boosters are quick challenges and competitions implemented in the Gamification platform, usually rewarding the first few that achieve a certain humble goal – for example, the first ten employees that open five new leads at a given amount of time. This sort of call to action clearly defines an attainable goal that requires a focused effort. It raises productivity and efficiency for a concentrated interval, leading to fast results without causing employees to burnout.

Another form of intervals used in Gamification is the “accelerators”, a sort of gamified happy hour in which all rewards are doubled for a specific period of time. Utilizing this tool at the end of a month or a quarter could infuse the workforce with a sense of urgency and motivation to start the next interval as a higher ranked player due to the many points that can be accumulated during the accelerator phase.

A workforce that is always pushed to its maximum ability and beyond can quickly become fatigued, apathetic to the firm’s goals and jaded towards motivation efforts. Implementing intervals avoids this complication, permitting managers to control just how much effort their employees are demanded to put it, all the while ensuring that relaxed periods are taken into consideration. Gamification that is executed with an interval method in mind, provides an enjoyable platform that encourages employees’ engagement and improvement.

Do you have additional ideas for implementing interval Gamification ? Do you have additional ideas for Infinite Gamification process ? please leave comments

 

Gal Rimon, CEO & Founder of GamEffective.com, a former CEO of Consulting companies in the fields of Performance management, Analytics, Marketing and Customer service.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Gal, I REALLY like this idea. I think you’re going somewhere with it. Have you heard of the “Spacing Effect”?
    There’s sound science saying that doing intervals while studying improves memorization. Maybe this style could be used in knowledge workers who must learn while they work?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacing_effect

    Do you suggest this style be done daily or cluster a few months a year? Michael Hugos wrote a book called Business Agility and he talks about speeding up a process in a period of about 3 months a year I believe.

  2. thank you !

    “Spacing effect” sound cool – new to me

    about the sprints, we recommend that most of the sprints will be few days long (maybe few hours)

    • I’ve read that highly mentally engaging activities can only be performed for 2-3 hours a day. My experience in gamification is educational, not enterprise, but I’ve theorized that feedback loops can be used to knock people into higher states of consciousness during work.

      The brain can be separated into 2 parts: The automatic where we work on a semiconscious state from repetitive actions(like driving a car without thinking about it), and the novelty receptors where the cerebral cortex is highly engaged trying to find new patterns and learn from the activity its performing (this second can only be maintained for a few hours).

      I think it would be interesting to experiment if the gamified sprint model could be applied interchanging between activities that require Best Practice management styles that operate in automatic receptors of the brain, into activating the novelty receptors in the brain to tackle more complex and novel problems that can’t be automatized.

  3. Eugene,

    in http://www.GamEffective.com we try to combine an infinite game experience with short sprints of few hours or days.
    I can say that we proved empirically that it is working.
    we try to include all the higher steps in maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

    Your remark is important and I can assure you that we are working on it also.

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