With millions of people catching digital nostalgia on their phones, Pokémon Go has become one of the most influential and talked about phenomena of 2016. The game has completely taken over people’s day-to-day lives. There are even taxi and Uber drivers offering to drive Pokémon-thirsty trainers around so that they can catch ‘em all. If you’ve succumbed to the addictive grip of Pokémon Go and have already been called out for catching too many Doduos when you’re in the office, have no fear! Like any other craze, there are bound to be good takeaways as the hysterical dust settles, even though your skeptical friend doesn’t think so (sorry not sorry for playing during our picnic, Denise). Here are 7 lessons from Pokémon Go that you can apply to the workplace.
1) Get Up And Move Around
As the name “Pokémon Go” suggests, it’s all about moving around if you want to be the very best, like no one ever was. Because different Pokémon live in different environments, traveling is a must in order to catch ‘em all. In a similar vein, if you want to be the very best at your job, you ought to take care of yourself. Studies show that a sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to your health and lead to chronic disease. Research by Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA's Life Sciences Division, shows that, in order to function properly, your body needs to perpetually interact with gravity through motion. Making sure to get up and walk around (even if you find yourself in the zone) makes all the difference in assuring long-term health.
To combat your 8-10 hour fixture at your desk, here are some ways to get up and stay active (these also double as good excuses to catch Pokemon during work):
- Drink lots of water so that bathroom breaks are aplenty.
- Whether you bring food or not, go outside the office for your lunch break.
- Send documents to the printer furthest from your desk.
- Make it a habit to stand up every hour, on the hour.
- Do wall squats a few times a day.
If you do at least a few of these, you’ll be on your way to a happier and healthier work-life split.
2) Check In
If you’ve discovered the battery saving function on Pokémon Go, then you’ve almost definitely put your phone in your pocket while the game was still active and walked around to get mileage on your Poké Eggs. If you’ve done this, then you know how important it is to check in with the game and see if any cool new Pokémon have popped up on your walk. It’s the best way to optimize Pokémon acquisition while saving key battery life that always seems to fade quicker than the fame of certain one-hit wonders (J-Kwon, why have you not produced more music?).
A similar rule of thumb applies for the workplace. You’re busy. Your co-workers are busy. Your boss is busy. However, even though you all may be working on your own piles of projects, it’s always good to check in with them to make sure that you, them, and your collective deadlines are on the same page. A team that runs the most efficiently is one that has the same goals in view and knows how best to tackle them collectively.
On a separate note, it’s a good idea to check in with your co-workers on fronts that aren’t exclusively project-related. Asking them about their weekends, vacation plans, or how they’re feeling adjusting to a new workspace can make all the difference for cultivating the best relationships and office environment.
3) Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Question: What’s the best way for you and your friends to collect Pokémon in Pokémon Go? Answer: Easy, set up a trap by setting down a lure module. Once you lay one of those bad boys down, everyone around you gets to reap the rewards, as Pokémon come flooding in droves. After you’ve captured 3 Bulbasaurs, 2 Chanseys, a Jynx, and 1738 Zubats, high five your buddies around you to celebrate a job well done!
Second question: What’s the best way to tackle a difficult problem in the workplace? Answer: Phone a friend! Collaboration will be a major key from kindergarten to infinity. No matter whether it’s solving a personal dilemma or calling for an assist on righting the ship for a stressful project, asking for help is always a good move. Research shows that collaboration leads to the highest-impact innovations. A recent Nielsen study found that larger teams and more diverse teams produce better concepts. So if you’re ever in trouble, reach for a helping hand and say, “I choose you!” Just please don’t scare them away...
4) Munchies Are A MUST
In Pokémon Go, one of the best ways to remedy your struggles of capturing a stubborn Pokémon is giving it a Razz Berry. A little heart emits from the Pokémon’s head and it becomes easier to catch on your next throw. One way you can think about it is put yourself in its shoes: if you were hangry, what’s the one thing that would settle you down? That’s right! Food.
The same basic principle can be applied to working in an office. Getting through the day can be a really tough venture if you don’t have some snacks to tide you over between meals. Workflow can come to a halt, and patience can reach all-time lows. Make sure you’re packing yogurt, grapes, peanuts, etc. to help fuel you until the end of the day. Otherwise, many offices stock their shelves with lots of snacks. So don’t be shy about finishing off the Cheez-Itz that your co-worker Elisa claims are hers.
5) Focus And Follow Through
When it comes to catching technique in Pokémon Go, one of the best ways to do so is to curve the ball when you throw it. Curveballs have higher catching rates than those of straight line throws. Since they’re much harder to perform, in regards to making the ball hit the target, you have to focus hard and follow through with your finger so that the ball has a little spin on it as you toss it. If you don’t focus and follow through, you’ll likely miss the target completely and the Pokémon might laugh at you as it escapes from your clutches yet again (Damn you, Beedrill!).
Likewise, if you don’t focus on your work nor follow through with your responsibilities, you could find yourself on the chopping block. If someone assigns you to perform a certain task and you space out, lose sight of the goal, and forget about it completely, they’re going to be pretty ticked off when you come in empty handed. It’s super important to stay organized and on top of all your responsibilities so that you’re in everyone’s good graces. An easy way to avoid this problem is have a calendar and a list of priorities, whether it be a collection of sticky notes or a three-inch, three-ring binder, Leslie Knope-style. This way you’re always on top of your work and never bottoming out.
6) Don't Let Opportunities Pass You By
If you see a Charizard on your radar, run, do not walk, in its direction. You never know when an opportunity like that will knock on your door again. Once you find it, do everything in your power to close the deal. This means use the aforementioned tricks above, turning off the augmented reality function to stabilize your screen, and throwing your best Pokéballs (whether they’re Great Balls or Ultra Balls). If you have a golden opportunity presented before you, don’t let it slip away.
Same thing goes for when you want a promotion and the CEO of your company invites you and your co-workers out to drinks every week. Don’t be the one person who never goes to off-the-clock company events. You want to take opportunities like these to shmooze, build relationships, and show your lighter side. While it might not seem like you’re catching a Charizard now, don’t forget the importance of long-run, incremental relationship building. If you want to think of it in Pokémon Go terms: since it’s unlikely that a Charizard will just fall into your lap, a safe bet is to catch a bunch a Charmanders until you have enough Charmander candies to evolve one into Charizard. If you ever find yourself waiting in prolonged idle for one great opportunity, you’re likely letting dozens of good ones slip by.
7) Become A Master Of Your Trade
When it comes to your job, you also want to be the very best, like no one ever was. Whether you’re up for a promotion or you’re looking to break into a new industry, the only way to guarantee success is to guarantee that you’re putting forth your best self. If that means that you have to better develop your soft skills, like public speaking, for example, then you ought to take a toastmasters class. If a position asks for advanced organizational skills, take some classes to become an excel wizard, set inbox filters on your email, and keep a tight and tidy calendar. Whatever it is that your job requires, make it your goal to knock everything thrown your way out of the park. If you can build on your successes and consistently dazzle your employers, you won’t just be the very best, you’ll be invaluable and rewarded accordingly.
As you can see, the lessons you learn on how best to operate in Pokémon Go can translate to your workplace (Take that, Denise!). In order to succeed, you must collaborate, you have to give it your all, and you can’t sit back and be idle. In other words, GO be more active in your workspace. Dedicate even more time to putting forth your best professional self than you would to finding and catching Mewtwo. The results you’ll see, from your proactive approach to cultivating a better work life, will be tangible in the ways of better relationships, happier environment, and maybe even a promotion.
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