Friday, September 7, 2018

Working On Your To-Do List?

I found a great web site that helps you work on your to-do list, plus encourages you to build and maintain good habits and get over bad habits. Thanks to Jim Hines for the link a couple of days ago.

The site is called Habitica, and it's a gamification site. What that means is that it takes something in your life -- in this case, getting stuff done and building good habits -- and turns it into a game. Habitica has the form of a fantasy roleplaying game.

When you create an account, which is free, you become a character in the land of Habitica. You're a first level Warrior with basically no gear. The first step is to set up some things you want to do (or want to stop doing) in a fairly intuitive (sorta -- there is a learning curve, but there's also a very thorough wiki) Tasks page. I have a combination of personal and work tasks on mine, ranging from Write 1000 Words, to Walk 1000 Steps, to Eat a Piece of Fruit, to Call Mom, to Read a Chapter of a Writing Book. I have Eat Junk Food as a negative; if I do that, I click on the Junk Food button and my character takes some damage. :/ I haven't done that yet, but I suppose I will at some point.

You set up each task with a frequency (every day, week or month; three times a week, or just to keep tabs but with no set goal) and estimate about how hard the task is. You can set up a larger task with an internal checklist, so if your task is cleaning the kitchen, it could have a checklist that includes Load the Dishwasher, Clean the Stove, Wipe Down the Counters, and Put Away Leftovers. It's really very flexible once you get the hang of it, and the wiki is great help.

As you do tasks, you click to check them off, and the system gives you experience points and gold pieces for each one. Sometimes (after you hit Level 3) you get an item drop. You accumulate experience points and make levels. When you hit Level 10, you can change professions if you want and become a Mage, a Rogue or a Healer. You also get some skills, which are like special abilities, or spells if you're a Mage or a Healer. I haven't gotten there yet (I'm currently Level 4) but it looks like fun.

There are also guilds you can join. I joined The Wordsmiths, a writers' guild, and The Renaissance Man, which despite the sexism of its name, seems like an interesting guild with a broad base of interests.

Guilds can set Challenges, too. A Challenge is a collection of Tasks, usually around a theme and with a deadline. You click to join the Challenge, and the Tasks are added to your Task page. Usually there's some kind of a prize in gems at the end for a random person who worked on the Challenge. Gems are another (rarer) form of currency in the game; there are things you can only buy with gems. I don't have any yet.

You can also form a party. A party is a smaller group than a Guild, and Parties do quests together. I started a party all by myself, since I wanted to try the baby quest (I'm battling some rabid dust bunnies right now :D ) and didn't know anybody on the site. There are two kinds of quests, the Boss Battle quest and the Collection quest. The Dust Bunny quest is a boss battle quest, with some unknown (to me, at least) number of dust bunnies to be defeated. Every time I check off a task, I do some amount of damage to the current dust bunny I'm fighting. When you've killed them all, you win the quest, yay. If you're playing a collection quest, as you check off tasks, there's a chance you'll get an item drop that's a quest item. When your party has collected enough of each type of item, you've won the quest, yay. The whole party gets a reward when the quest is done.

As you accumulate gold, you can buy gear for your character. You also get some gear for checking in to the site a certain number of times. I have a cool set of Bardic Robes (which increase my Perception stat) that I got for checking in the second day I played. I also have a helm, a sword and a shield. Different pieces of gear increase different stats, and you can buy better gear as you move up. Your stats are taken into account as you "fight." For example, having a better weapon gives you more strength, so you do more damage to whatever you're fighting each time you check off a task.

Basically, if you're a gamer geek, this is an awesome way to motivate yourself to get stuff done. I've been amazingly productive the last couple of days. I even called to make a dentist appointment O_O which I'd usually have put off for weeks. [hides under keyboard] I'm sure some of the enthusiasm will wear off soon, but I'm hoping most of it lasts. :)

I highly recommend trying Habitica if you're at all into gaming. If you do, drop a note here and we can get together and go questing. :D



Suzan Harden said...

Just what I need--another obsession! LOL

Angie said...

Suzan -- LOL! I know, but this is a positive, useful obsession. :)

In all seriousness, I've been more productive over the last three days than I've been in... way longer than I want to think about. I'm doing more non-deadline writing than I've done in the same period in at least a couple of years, I think. This is pretty awesome.