So. I've been using Habitica for over 2 weeks now and thought it might be helpful to do a blog post to check in and see if it has helped me in any way.
The website/app gives you three lists: Habits, Dailies and To Dos
Immediately I found the dailies list very helpful. I started off with simple daily routine things - Get dressed, make the bed, brush teeth, wash face etc. with some things have a morning and evening checklist on them to be completed before that task was considered done. I then began to add other things that might be helpful assigned to certain days of the week, like checking the 'Folklore Thursday' hashtag on Twitter on Thursdays to help out with research.
Every time you complete a task you gain in-game coinage (gold or several silver coins) and experience.
When things on the Dailies list aren't ticked off by midnight, the damage your poor little avatar. You loose Health Points.
This is where Habitica really starts to work for me. I get distressed at the thought of little Ryan getting hurt and that it also makes me realise that when I don't do important daily things I know I need to do, it creates problems for me in reality. It is showing me that my actions do have consequences by putting them in this gamified format where I can immediately see it happening.
Yay for re-connecting with reality!
The To Dos list is, as the name implies, a to do list. You add to it tasks that need to be done and can assign it a date to be done by and a difficulty. If you know the task is a big or difficult one, you can make it reflect this meaning that when you complete it you get more coinage and experience.
Now the to do list doesn't damage your character if things aren't done. Even if you apply a deadline to it.
Tasks not done on the to do list change colour the longer you leave them. They go from a standard yellow colour, which everything starts out at, to orange, to an urgent red. It does present a dilemma when things aren't on a specific time scale or you are waiting for someone to get back to you on something and the task sits there for a while. I suppose that is more about time/task management.
The final list you are given is the Habits list. This allows you to track and control your habits, giving you plus and minus buttons that will let you gain experience and coinage for something, or detract Health Points for it.. You can see what you have done well and not done well by the changing colour on this list too. Blue things are what you are doing really well at, Green are things you have been ok at doing, Yellow is bog standard, Orange not so good and Red is for things you have been terrible at.
On this list I again started out simple with getting up before 9am, sitting at a table to work and not on the bed. I then added habits like walking into town, which I want to do more often, and habits I want to get rid of like taking a taxi home when I have 'missed the last bus'.
This is also going to hopefully help me improve other habits like reading more. I am one of those people who buys books telling myself I will get around to reading them when I have finished the one I am on now, which will take me ages to do.
Now to cover the avatar and it's development.
You get to create your little avatar in your own image (or not if you'd prefer to be bright green or rainbow coloured) down to your skin tone, hair colour and style, the build of your body and they even have a wheelchair option where you can have your avatar sit in a wheelchair, which I think is pretty great of them to do so!
You start off with basic health and an experience bar, both of which increase as your level grows. Once you reach the correct level you then unlock the ability to gain items with your achievements, you can even get eggs so you can hatch a pet to go with your avatar.
When you pick up food in-game you can feed your pet and when it becomes big enough, you can ride it.
When you reach the right level for it, you can stop being a freelancer and chose a class. The classes are your usual RPG type classes - Warrior, Mage, Rogue, Healer. As you can see above, I have chosen to be a mage, so I can finally live the dream of becoming a wizard!
So to wrap this post up, I feel like this has already helped me make improvements to my productivity and life in general. I will keep on using it as...well...why would I stop?...I'm not a master wizard yet.
Hopefully this will be one part of the positive influences on me and allow me to become more productive and achieve all the things I keep telling myself I will do, but don't do because of that ol' devil procrastination.
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