I work as a marketing manager for a status reporting software. My main goal is to to introduce managers smart ways to save time with innovative tools. Obviously playing Candy Crush is not something I'm paid to do at work. It isn't aligned with my overall quarterly goals. It does, however help me understand my work better.
Playing Candy Crush is one of my pet peeves. I do it when I just need to wind down and be in the “nothing box”. At first glance it seems to have no real value to my work or existence at all. In fact, research claims that digital technology and gaming makes people shift to a more shallow mode of learning, but in my case it was quite the opposite.
Candy Crush, Strategy and Goals
Candy Crush is a business, so it wants me to “invest” by making my life harder – only giving me 5 lives or making the upper levels just unbeatable. Considering the fact that I know it is a silly habit and does not create me any extra value business or personal wise, I don't want to pay, but I do want to play! Apparently, I fall into the 97,7% of people who play for free.
In order to finish levels with the limited number of moves, you need to apply some kind of strategy to it. The most obvious one to me is making all the moves having the end goal in mind.
Let's examine the levels, where you have to free the gummy bears stuck under the ice. At first, the ice is so thick that you can't actually see them, so the first few times you have to do a little bit of trial and error as you do with your business, clients or product.
When the ice gets thinner you begin to see some of the gummy bears.
Now, the strategy shifts from trial and error to making every move to create the best conditions possible for saving gummy bears.
Meanwhile, Candy Crush sabotages you by seemingly showing you the easiest next move, which at first seems to be the easy way out, but often times it doesn't align with your long-term goal.
Therefore, the most important lesson I learned is making all the little moves in alignment with your long-term goal. Whether be it in life, business or something as ridiculous as Candy Crush. This is one of the simplest strategies you can use to achieve your goals. Focus daily on what matters the most and serves your long-term goal.
Look back and think about one of these really busy days. Were your activities or tasks aligned with your overall goal or were you just creating an illusion of working?
I work for a an OKR software company who has adopted the OKR – Objectives and Key Results methodology. The same goal-setting method that has been used in Google for years. The software helps teams to stay focused and actually align their overall goals to daily tasks. Seeing the positive effect on our clients urged me to share the value of aligning your short-term and long-term goals.
Let us examine another level on Candy Crush. The one where you have limited time to finish your level.
What that effect does is that makes you feel under stress and makes you focus all of your efforts to come up with a solution. It's like the end of the quarter where you start thinking what is the best way to achieve your quarterly goals. This means that you can start adding urgency to your daily activities.
Maybe this is the reason Candy Crush is so addictive: like work, you get this „need to succeed“ sensation and it makes your game so hard that you start thinking about taking the easy way out.
Often times, life wants you to take the easy way out. But using work techniques that may make you think harder at the time, will give you a much better chance of success in the end. I urge you to take the hard path: try new things, fail sometimes, but when you finally succeed, you'll get a lot more out of it.
It helps me to relate and give a new perspective to my work. Thank you Candy Crush for teaching me a valuable life lesson and making me work to achieve my goals.
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