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Improving Habits with Habitica

I’m quite a disorganized person – especially when it comes to work. I tend to juggle a lot of things at once and it’s hard to keep track of each of them. Working from home with an 8 month old child I find it hard to organise things from day to day. So I decided to look for a way to improve this.

I found Habitica. Habitica is a todo list and habit builder – that has turned the process into a game. I love gaming so turning a todo list into a game is a fun way to get me to check it daily.

Habitica characters and customizations

With Habitica you create an avatar, and then setup habits you want to complete. The interface is split into a series of sections:

  • You have habits – things you want to do occasionally and get rewarded (or punished) for doing. For example you can punish yourself for eating junk food, or you can reward yourself for doing the washing up.
  • You have dailies – things you should do every day. I have dailies for example eating 5 fruit or veg a day.
  • You to-dos – a more traditional task list.

The app works like a role playing game, so each time you complete a task, or a habit, you gain experience – and level up. If you miss a daily task, or a negative habit, then you lose health. As you level up new abilities unlock. You can also unlock eggs and other items to find pets.

It has all the hallmarks of an rpg – whilst also making me more productive. In the later stages you can fight monsters – but you have to do it as a group completing tasks to damage the enemies. Unfortunately I don’t know anyone else who uses Habitica so I haven’t tried this yet.

I really like the idea of gamifying habits. In particular forcing myself to do things that I always want to do – but don’t get around to doing. The threat of punishment for not completing a daily habit, even if the punishment is losing health in a game, is enough to make me actually take action.

Unfortunately the actual todo list items are not strong enough to use for a proper project management system. I was looking for something that would help me get organised for work – but I have ended up being distracted by a game (not for the first time).

 

To become more organised for work I need a better project management app. But for improving habits Habitica has proven a good choice and I am already seeing the benefits.

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