Just Do You

Because we always have choices…

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The Games We Play

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on September 18, 2012


I am taking a class on organization and social change this semester. I read an article that prompted me to think about the different ways in which we entertain ourselves to get through our days. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I spend a lot of my days playing games.

My son, who is a healthy teenager, was complaining about his 4 hour shift at work. He either spends his shift standing in place bagging groceries, or trolling the parking lot for grocery carts. His complaints were chiefly about boredom, monotony of the task or physical pain from repetitive boring motion.

So I tested the game concept on him. This was by no means a scientific study, just an experiment. I told him, that when I drive to work, I play a game with myself. It is about picking small milestones that help me pass the time. My commute, which takes 30 minutes in no traffic, takes between an hour and 2 hours on a regular basis. 2 hours when any kind of weather happens…

My games start with noticing which cars are on either side and trying to either keep pace or make sure that I am in front of my chosen target. That can help pass the time. I also time myself getting to the bridge, and then seeing if I can make it to the tunnel in under 20 mins (usually takes less than 5 in no traffic). It’s not like I have the power to make the traffic move faster, but you get the idea. I don’t think about the 2 hours, I think about time in increments only…small bites.

I suggested to him that he try creating games to entertain himself while bagging and collecting carts. He, like a typical teenager, gave me a blank stare and went off to work.

When I picked him up, I asked him how it went. He told me that he was able to move up to 100 carts at once (I am sure SLIGHT EXAGGERATION)! It was the most of any of his co-workers. They had started a little competition. He also made no complaints about being in pain.

I am not saying it works, but we all do things to get through the day. I would be interested in hearing what you do to get through your day, how you measure milestones or keep it interesting when it would otherwise be painful.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

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One Response to “The Games We Play”

  1. Challenging ourselves is a great game. This is a great reminder. Do better today than yesterday and better tomorrow than today… Thanks Georgianna!!

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