03 – Shiny Things (Points and Rewards)

The Points Project is simple really. Complete task, receive points, spend points. Easy peasy, but I think it’s time I explained how the points and rewards aspects work! I’ll soon make The Points Project spreadsheet available so you can play along too. Yes, it’s a spreadsheet, stop grimacing. It’s got buttons and everything! First thing’s first… how do I decide the points value of a task?

Allocating Points

Simply put, it’s a mix of time investment, motivation, and importance. As a starting point, I allocate one point for every 10 minutes that it should take to do a task, then adjust the value a bit depending on the importance of the task and how keen I am on doing it.

For example: Restringing my guitar isn’t the most exciting part of my music career but it’s important, so though it only takes about 20 minutes I give it a whole 3 points! By contrast, editing a chapter of my book takes around an hour. It’s also important but I actually enjoy doing it, so I value it at 5 points. The idea of doing things this way is that it’ll encourage me to do the things I would usually put off.

03 - Shiny Things1

It’s not an exact science by any means. If you’re playing along at home, just try and be fair. Figure out what works for you; the system will only work if you let it.

Earning Points

Easy:
Complete task. Get points.

Spending Points (i.e. Choosing Rewards)

Much like allocating points, this isn’t so straightforward to figure out. Again, try to be fair and figure out what works best for you. I spend points in two ways: doing and buying fun things. As with allocating points, one point equals 10 minutes, so if I want to spend an hour playing a video game it’s going to cost me six points. Likewise, I want to buy something fun, the cost is the number of points it’s going to cost me. If I want to buy a DVD for £10, it’s going to cost me 10 points too. Necessities (food, fuel, clothes, etc.) don’t count here, and if the purchase in question will help with future projects or productivity I halve the cost. Ideally, I never want to go into points debt, and it should only happen in the event of a big purchase that will have an immediate impact on my productivity.

03 - Shiny Things2

Both my points and rewards systems are movable feasts; they’ll need tweaking and refining no doubt, but it’s a starting point! Good luck figuring out your own methods. Have a productive day!

Points Earned:

Edited book chapter +5

Blog post +2

Total Points: 26

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