What Can My Shaving Routine Teach Us About Gamification?

Yeah I know, a bizarre title for a blog. Anyone who follows me on twitter will know that I am a bit obsessed with finding a decent shave. I have always hated shaving with a passion. My skin always comes out in a rash, it is time-consuming and just a ball ache.

I have tried most types of the modern razor, from single blade Bic disposables to Mach 3 to Fusion. Every time a new razor came out with more blades and promises of the “closest shave since out last product”, I have bought it.

Then I decided to grow a bit of a beard, but also decided to keep it trimmed around the neckline. This was when I decided that a razor with a massive number of blades was impractical, it was impossible to get a decent line, so I decided to go old school and get an old fashioned double-edged “safety razor”. After an initial cost, the blades are infinitely cheaper to buy than the cartridge type, which is a bonus.

Shaving was a grind. I would wash my face, put some foam on and shave as fast as I could then throw some aftershave on. With a decent Mach 3, I could be done and dusted in 10 minutes with a decent finish.

With the safety razor, it is a bit different. I have to prepare properly first. Without preparation, the razor will destroy my face. So warm water and a thorough wash, giving the bristles a few minutes to soften. Next, shaving foam. After that, a shave with the grain. More foam and a shave across the grain. Finally, more foam and a shave against the grain with some little touch ups.

Following that, a cold flannel and a wipe over with an alum block. Next up, some aftershave. Finally, a light layer of moisturiser.

This whole process takes about 20 minutes or so, much longer than my old shave. It also requires a whole lot more patience and skill, mistakes end with quite a lot of pain and blood!

Do Things the Hard Way

Now for the crux of the tale.

Before I started this new routine, I hated shaving. Now, I look forward to the process. I look forward to seeing if my skill has improved and I can get a better shave. I look forward to getting to a point where I can use a more “aggressive” razor and get an even closer shave. I am on a new path to mastery, and it is in its own little way – fun!

The wonderful Andrea M. Kuszewski writes in one of her many fantastic articles about 5 ways to maximise your cognitive potential.

  1. Seek Novelty
  2. Challenge Yourself
  3. Think Creatively
  4. Do Things The Hard Way
  5. Network

I would say that these are also key ways to find enjoyment in activities as well. I will be writing about fun again very soon, but going back to the quote I used in a recent blog from Roman Rackwitz – “If I ain’t learning, it ain’t fun”. Changing my routine, I triggered 3 of those 5 points. Seeking Novelty, challenging myself and doing it the hard way. The change to a new method was the novelty, it is certainly a challenge to slash my face open and it is definitely a harder way than the simple disposable cartridge razors!

The Lesson

Making a simple change to my routine, challenging myself and forcing myself to take a harder route has brought a level of fun and interest into something that was previously a grind. We can apply this to gamification. Change things from the normal, make people think differently and challenging them. Don’t always hold their hands, make things a little harder for them.

Take them on a path to mastery, mix it up a little and see how many of those 5 points from Andrea you can hit in your system, whether it is shaving or encouraging people to use your CRM in the “correct” way!

Oh and if you are interested, I use the Edwin Jagger Double Edge Razor DE89 – pictured above

My Kit (not sponsored links – sadly!!)

The Razor – Edwin Jagger Double Edge Safety Razor DE89

The Blades – Astra 100pc set

The Alum – Edwin Jagger Alum Block

The Shave Gel – King of Shaves Sensitive Gel

The After Shave Balm – Nivea for Men Sensitive Cooling Post Shave Balm

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Also published on Medium.

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1 thought on “What Can My Shaving Routine Teach Us About Gamification?”

  1. I really like the lessons you learn from interacting the world around you and grasping what is happening in it. in my opinion, it is really valuable and also forgotten in this educated world that we just learn from books or teachers. life’s the best teacher if we can hear it’s words.
    thanks again for sharing them. : )


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