Important things can be boring, so make them fun

A popular friend of mine once shared a trick to liven up any gathering. 

"I just make up a game."

He went on to demonstrate by making up a game of throwing a crumpled piece of paper a wall and then making it land in a trash. The first to 5 wins. Three of us were then engrossed in the game of trash basketball. 

Games make boring things fun. Think of any sport - cricket, soccer, football, tennis, car racing, etc. They are all pretty meaningless in a practical sense, but billions of people are engrossed in them. 

That's a key idea because many important things in life, like exercising, filing taxes, learning something new, chores, working towards an idea or business, etc. have parts that are pretty mechanical and boring. They become barriers for us to doing them well and consistently, and eventually, stop us from succeeding at the important thing.

You can try to use willpower or motivate yourself with the final goal, but it's tiring and often futile to resist boredom. 

Instead, it's better to turn them into games and make them fun. How?

- Chunk them up into small and well-defined actions.  

- Keep score, time, or both. For multi-day actions keep a streak or daily counter. Introduce bonuses and penalties. Even introduce levels ups as it gets easy and make the tasks more challenging. Feel free to make it up as you go! 

- Make the score more meaningful somehow, by recording it, trying to beat your PRs, sharing it, or competing with friends. You can give yourself rewards as well. 

- Make it social and competitive. Just post to your groups and ask who wants to participate, and then create another group or get together to play the game and keep track of scores. 

The universally dreaded tax filing deadline is almost approaching, so try to create a tax game with these rules. Might work quite well with getting kids to do their chores too!