Habitica - a habit-forming RPG
Habitica - a habit-forming RPG

How and Why I Use Habitica

Right now my nails are bare and have been since last night. Ah, the horror! I even have the polishes for my next major manicure pulled out, but I will not be working on it tonight because I have other things that needed to get done more. Booooo! And speaking of getting things done, that’s what I wanted to blog about real quick tonight.

Way back in August of 2016, one of my co-workers suggested that the team start using Habitica as a way to motivate ourselves to get things done. Habitica is a pixel-based gamified to-do list. It has three major categories: habits (stuff you want to do more often or reward/punish yourself for), dailies (things that should be happening on a schedule), and general to-dos. You finish something, you check it off. It also has challenges with pre-set tasks that people make for each other and quests that your party (in this case my co-workers and sister) can work on together. You beat the quests by getting things done.

Habitica doesn’t work for everyone. We’ve already had two other co-workers drop out and another co-worker who hasn’t dropped out but just doesn’t log in ever. It works for me though. Sometimes the only reason I get things done is because I want to check it off. Sometimes things don’t get done because I didn’t add it to my to-do list. A few examples of the productivity that I gained are…

  • I actually take my allergy pill every day instead of forgetting for days on end.
  • I finally re-covered my cat’s scratching posts with rope because someone ran a cat life improvement challenge.
  • I use it to organize what steps I need to program next at work and do it instead of spinning my ADD wheels on trying to do it all at once.
  • I’ve been using it for personal challenges like my Origami Daily Calendar and have actually managed to keep up with it within a day of when I should post (I was late…twice?). This, btw, is a miracle.
  • I’ve used it to encourage myself to finish the other nail challenges, both through a major to-do with a checklist of each subject and a habit where I reward myself for completing a nail art cycle at all.
  • I’ve joined Habitica challenges that last for several months and dropped out because the set tasks weren’t working for me, reworked the tasks, and kept going. Sometimes I just decide that whatever it was wasn’t important enough to me to continue. I almost did Inktober last year but realized I couldn’t do it and the 31 Day Challenge. I chose the 31 Day Challenge and I’ll do Inktober this year.
  • I started using Instagram because of an advent day calendar drawing challenge. I so should have started using Instagram before I even started this blog. Oops.

I think what’s worked for me so much is that I am still only answering to myself. If something doesn’t work, I reassess and fix it. And I already was in the habit of making lists of things I wanted to do so it’s just an extension of that. Some of the challenges have also been about organizing what you want to get done. Like a 3-step challenge where you wrote down three things you wanted to get done and do those next. Then you can write three more things down. Rinse, Repeat. I use that when I notice I’m spinning my wheels and need something to focus myself.

And it has also taught me things about myself. I no longer use the other 3-thing challenge I tried where you write 3 to 5 things you want to get done tomorrow the night before and try to do them. Doing that little gem for a month made me realize why I’m always in a state of frustration at how little I get done. I always want to do more than is possible in a day! I wish I could have used a past tense in that last sentence, but the wanting it really hasn’t changed. What has changed is that I forgive myself for it because I know I’m asking for the impossible. I’m able to cut myself a break. Habitica also highlighted that point for me twice because it provides statistics on how you’ve been doing. The to-do list’s statistics show how much experience you’ve earned vs how much you have yet to earn because it’s still in your list. I haven’t even begun to put all my little crafting to-dos in this list, but as you can see in the picture below, I can always find myself more things to do. There are never enough hours in the day…

Habitica To-do Chart
Habitica To-do Chart

And I think I’ve spent enough time writing about this. Back to work for me!

#HabiticaResolutions (New Years resolutions don’t work for me, but making my own up as I go seems to be working.)

More from Hermit Werds:

2 Comments Posted

  1. Interesting! I haven’t heard that “game” before but it sounds like an awesome idea. I personally like to use a daily planner. It’s a huge honkin thing but I like that it has a full page for each day, because I too find I usually have a huge to-do list. It helps me a lot to write down what I need to get done. Since anything I didn’t finish the previous day’s to-dos, I find myself doing things just because I get tired of having to write them again! Ha ha not as exciting as a game, but it works for me, and I guess that’s what life is about… figuring out what works for you.

    • Yes, very much so. My purse is already pretty heavy so I never got into planners. I write my weekly goals on little post-it notes and chuck them when they get too full or too many things have been crossed off. But Habitica is really good for bigger projects and generals. I don’t necessarily want to write down my household chore every day, but I have a habit that requires me to do at least one a day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*