Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Entrepreneur Games & a New To Do List

Entrepreneur Games

I just started playing a game on my iPad called Fiona's Flowers. It's a time management/simulation/entrepreneur game where you run a flower shop. You start off with a few tasks like watering, planting and pruning your flowers. You also sell them out of your shed. The goal is to make enough money to advance through different garden contests.

As you earn money you can buy more equipment like an oven and fruit dryer so you can increase your products by selling raisins and cakes.

With this game fresh in my mind, my husband and I went for a walk. Our entire walk was occupied with brainstorming a board game based on entrepreneur simulations like Fiona's Flowers. When we got back I searched online for "entrepreneur games" and found a list of games dedicated to one or more areas of entrepreneurship and thought I would share them with you.

Go Venture- This website has many games for kids to teach them the various ins and outs of running a business. Their game list includes Hot Company and Ice Cream Board Game.

On Noobpreneur.com, Ivan Widjaya, the editor, lists Capitalism II, Rich Dad's Cashflow and Virtonomics.

There's also a Business Simulation game on Income-outcome.com.

Some other entrepreneur-themed games include:
Lemonade Stand

I like playing Fiona's Flowers because even though running a real business is slightly more complicated I'm reminded of the importance of ignoring or setting aside the minutia in order to get to the fun and meaningful stuff.

Reverse To Do List

Speaking of fun and meaningful. The Reverse To Do List is an idea I had last week when I was brooding over my traditional To Do List, wondering why nothing was getting done. I implemented this to do list a couple days ago and I already feel less stressed and more productive.

The general idea behind a Reverse To Do List is write down what you accomplished instead of keeping a list of things you still need to do.

Many productivity and self help experts tell you to break down your tasks into small manageable chunks so you can accomplish them easier. I did this for a while and all I accomplished was getting really good at writing a long To Do List which ended up hanging over me like a storm cloud.

I understand the basic principle behind this technique and it may work for some but I don't believe it's the only way to be productive. I found that it took longer to get to the part where I actually work on something and I also got stuck in the planning stage. If you write To Do lists like this you not only have to manage the task itself but you have to manage the To Do list as well! Also, and I think this is the more important part, you can't possibly anticipate every task that's required to finish a project. Things change and then you are forced to update your To Do list.

To Do lists feed on your fear of forgetting things.

We are intelligent, capable humans but we tend to write 4 pages worth of To Dos because we are scared we'll forget one of the steps.

If you are learning something new or found a process that works well for you then you might need to write down each step so you won't forget and have to work through it again. That's called efficiency.

But writing down every step to clean your home is ridiculous. Most of us know what's involved in cleaning a house. We just need to get to it! So schedule yourself to clean your house this Saturday and stop there. Trust that your body and brain will know what to do when the time comes.

Well then why keep a list at all?

The point of writing down what you worked on after the fact is to help keep you on track without wasting time planning. If you write down what you actually accomplished today and look at that list tomorrow you will automatically know what you need to do. You will know what needs to be done but it won't come from a long, boring, intimidating To Do list. It will come from the natural flow of a project.

I believe our brains want to work for us. That's what they were created to do. Your brain is programmed to naturally understand what comes next and your body is programmed to do what your brain tells it. Writing exhaustive lists of things to do undermined the whole beautiful process.

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