Hi, my name is Tere, and I’m a workaholic. The projects I do and the communications I draft make me feel productive, needed, adept.
But I am extremely averse to housework. I have tried to reframe it in terms of blessing my home, blessing my family and pets, blessing the neighborhood, blessing the friends and family who visit. That works sometimes. But more often I just downright hate pulling the same weeds that cropped up last year and picking up the same clutter as yesterday.
Today I was reading Jim Lee’s blog on KMEdge.org, Knowledge: How Much Is Too Much? and especially his comment lower down in response to another link, A better way to manage knowledge. The Harvard Business Review article said,
“the real value is in creating new knowledge, rather than simply ‘managing’ existing knowledge. …That’s why we’re not keen to spend time entering our latest document into a knowledge management system. …
We’ve found in our research into environments like World of Warcraft (WoW) that new knowledge comes into being when people who share passions for a given endeavor interact and collaborate around difficult performance challenges.
The HBR article touted how WoW player Gullerbone completed The Burning Crusade expansion pack within an impressive 28 hours after its release in 2007. How did he do it? By using his guild, and related videos, blogs, wikis that make up the social media “knowledge economy.”
Jim Lee’s response: “I’ve said for some time if ‘KM systems’ could mimic the behaviors of WOW players, that we would see immediate impact and improvment [sic] of collaboration and outcomes.”
I sometimes feel the same way about updating old documentation as I do about cleaning the toilet. It’s gotta be done, but it makes me feel all grungy, and I’ll just have to do it again soon enough.
In World of Warcraft, that kind of chore is akin to fishing. If you want to level up your skills enough to make some great coin and get the ingredients for the meals that will elicit extraordinary buffs for your guildies in raids and dungeons, you gotta pay your dues in the water. Many dedicated players are so addicted to getting that next level, they don’t mind putting in a few hours at the shore. Of course, it’s not as physically messy as it would be away from keyboard.
And so I’m trying to find a new way to reframe some of work’s less glamorous chores.
I wish that someday we may bring the addictiveness of gameplay into the world of work, and even (ugh!) housework. Can you imagine being able to track in reality:
- how much coin you’re earning or wasting on your current task,
- the buffs you gain by eating well/working out/working well with certain people, and
- the upgrades/badges/titles you can win along the way?
Wish, wish, wish…
Meanwhile, here are the ways I’m making my chores more attractive:
- Breaking them down into bite-sized chunks. For example, I made a long outline of what I need to do, and categorized it, counting the documents and estimating how much will fill a half hour or an hour.
- Scheduling the bite-sized chunks across several days.
- Rewarding myself for completing a bunch of chunks with a fresh cup of Joe and a break where I do something more creative like the next newsletter draft.
- Testing it like my target audience would, and putting myself in their shoes when I find it easy to learn how to do what I want.
I’m glad I work in a place where the coffee is free, even the flavored kind, and the cleanup is minimal. 🙂
The next challenge is even more social: making technical edits fun for my wonderful developers, product managers, project managers, and technicians. There’s gotta be more than bringing cake and asking pointed questions. Any other thoughts?