How to 10X Your Productivity by Playing Pokemon Go

By Garik Himebaugh

September 5, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

improve productivity

You’re probably thinking:

Pokemon Go can’t possibly improve your productivity and there’s no way it can increase all chances that you can get anything done by playing it.

Well, here’s the thing.

I was sitting at work one day when, suddenly, a coworker arose from his desk and hurried away. Curious, I asked another co-worker where he was off to in such a rush. I was told that he left to go defeat a “Gym” two blocks away.

Frankly, I didn’t know what a gym was at the time, but I knew he must be playing Pokemon Go. I was intrigued, and the next thing I knew I was already downloading Pokemon Go right to my phone.

What happened next surprised me even more- I really liked it.

The Hook

And it wasn’t just me. A quick walk through town and I saw a lot more people hooked to it. I met a woman in her 40’s, a man in his 50’s, working professionals, and several other people I never would have imagined would play. It appeared that Pokemon Go’s appeal goes beyond just children, teenagers, and young adults.

This got me pondering why people were drawn to this game, and why achieving success in the  game was more exciting, presumably than achieving success towards real life goals.

Analysis of the Catch

pokemon go analysis

In Pokemon Go, it’s relatively easy to accomplish a variety of tasks and get rewarded for them. For example, you can go for a walk in your neighborhood and achieve a number of things, like leveling up your trainer, powering up your Pokemon and hatching an egg. You can also start working on evolving a Pokemon, taking over a Gym, or discovering new Pokemon to add to the Pokedex. In fact, you could be doing all of the above on any given adventure.

Whether it’s a big or small accomplishment, you get rewarded in Pokemon Go. The consistency of these rewards is what draws more and more people to the game. The more rewards you get, the more motivated you become to get to the next levels.

Compare to Reality

In reality, we don’t get to celebrate rewards for every small accomplishment.

This is largely the reason why many people never complete their goals. Big goals are overwhelming, and even if you break your big goal into smaller chunks, it can be challenging at times to keep up the momentum to keep moving forward.

The concept of celebrating small wins has been emphasized by entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss, Chase Jarvis, and many others. Simply put, the concept is to celebrate your small wins daily.

Take this for example:

Imagine you are writing a 500-page novel and you write one page every morning. You don’t get rewards every day after you write a page, and it will take quite a bit of time before you finish the book and reap the fruits of all your hard work.

Now, compare it with playing Pokemon Go. In the game, you’ll get rewards for every milestone and level you surpass. Which one do you think will excite you more?

While reality is extremely far from the virtual world of Pokemon Go, it doesn’t mean that we can’t apply its principles to our life goals. While you’re laughing at me, I’m going to show you how the game can boost your productivity by as much as 10x.

See Also: 3 Ways That Celebrating Your Half Birthday Will Jumpstart Your Productivity

Applying Pokemon Go to Your Goals

pokemon go achievement

The first two things you need to learn is to define your goals and create rewards for those goals.

Defining goals

It’s simple to define your end goal. It can be about starting a business, publishing a book or getting a new job.

These goals can sound simple, but, in reality, it can take a lot of time before you can accomplish them. And the longer it takes means the longer you’ll have to wait to enjoy the rewards you can get from them.

The trick is to break down these goals into milestones and designate rewards for each of them.

See Also: How to Set Personal SMART Goals To Succeed 

Setting up rewards

Now, this is the fun part. After setting up your milestones, you’re ready to pick out rewards for them. In essence, your rewards should make you feel more motivated to go on and reach the next milestones.

Here are some ideas for rewards:

1. Verbal celebration and self-acknowledgement of daily goals. This can be as simple as telling yourself about how awesome you are after completing your daily goals. In addition, you can supplement this by taking 5 minutes of quiet time to just be happy about your accomplishments and think about all the things you’re grateful for that day.

2. Pick rewards you’ll really enjoy. In case you’re able to write 10 pages this week, reward yourself with a ticket to that concert you really want to see. If you’re able to write 2 pages today, reward yourself with a good movie tonight.

3. Get a friend in on the game with you. For example, if you get your to-do list all completed, you’ll go to an art museum together. You can also make it a double wager so that if you both accomplish your to-do lists, you’ll go to that brewery you’re both dying to check out.

4. Pick smaller rewards.  It can be as simple as a cup of your favorite coffee, a walk in the park or your favorite TV show.

One key thing to remember about these tips is that rewards usually vary from person to person. They don’t have to be big but make sure they’re meaningful and exciting to you. In the long run, setting up exciting goals can motivate and encourage you to reach your end goal.


1. Clearly define your goals and break them into small chunks and milestones, using the table above as an outline
2. Select and assign rewards to every small chunk and milestone, again utilizing the table as a reference
3. To download a free copy of the Goal and Reward Planning Worksheet, head over to

Now it’s your turn. How do you boost your productivity?

Garik Himebaugh

Garik Himebaugh helps freelancers and entrepreneurs be more productive and grow their businesses at

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