Gamification: boosting your productivity, by turning your life into a game, or in my case: trying to use the fast pace of games, as a powerful tool to fire up my permanently bored ADHD brain.
As a 20 year old with ADHD, I experience difficulties with trying to stay focused on what is important: university. I unwillingly procrastinate, forget deadlines, forget to write down important things (or I lose the paper I wrote it on) but most of the time: I completely forget that I should be working on essays, deadlines or other assignments. Why?
When looking at my non-existing agenda or schedule, it really does seem like I am not even trying at all. But what if I told you, that my brain is wired differently?
AD(H)D is a common problem amongst many children and adults, but it is often misunderstood. I am trying, but my brain has a shortage of dopamine and noradrenaline, so when I say I forgot something, that is only partly true, because my brain wasn’t even actively trying to remember what the thing I forgot was. Why? Because it was boring, to put it bluntly.
Because of the shortage of dopamine and noradrenaline, it is very difficult to get the AD(H)D brain interested, something very cool has to happen before my brain will ‘turn on’ and is able to listen and thus remember important tasks.
This knowledge won’t fix this problem, but what can I try to do to cope with the problem?
That is right, making everything less boring, so my brain will ‘turn on’ and will remember boring tasks! I can focus on Xbox achievements, so what if my real-life tasks are just like my Xbox achievements?
The answer might be gamification, so, let’s have a look at the gamification of my boring, ADHD, university life.
– Barkley, Russell A. Taking Charge of ADHD, Revised Edition: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents. London, New York: The Guilford Press, 2000.
– Kingsley, Tara L; Grabner‐Hagen, Melissa M. “Gamification” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 59,1 (2015): 51-61.
– McGough, James J. ADHD. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.