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