Creating Habits with Habitica

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Time is precious. Especially now that I am preparing for a conference in the midst of summer travel, playdates, preparing for the upcoming school year and finally organizing overflowing closets. Every second of my day needs to be used wisely in order to meet my summer writing goals.

Honestly, most days I feel so overwhelmed with all I need to get done, that I think I’ve wasted more time thinking about what needs to be done rather than actually doing it. But then, with the advice of my husband, I tried out Habitica, an online organizing system with graphics that remind me of playing a retro  Nintendo game. Think: Legend of Zelda, circa the late 80s.

I’ve been using my Habitica account for both personal and work goals, or if you are able to manage it as my husband does, you can create separate accounts. For me that is too time consuming. So into one list everything goes.

Habitica tasks are broken into three categories: Habits, Dailies and To-Dos. For each task you place under a category, you can customize the settings, decided whether it has a due date, and create checklists within each task. As a side note, when adding checklists you do tend to earn more points for that task, as you do by claiming it is hard verses easy. Here is where you have to be honest with yourself.

Fulfilling goals helps you earn points, coin and pets and moves you onto the next level. Maintaining your health is essential to move forward and not lose a level (and your coin).

While your health is not compromised by To-Do’s not being finished each day (you actually earn more points the longer you take to complete them), breaking habits and not fulfilling Dailies do. I should note here that with Habits, you have the option of  only being rewarded if you fulfill the task, or you can customize it to have a +/-. In this case, you can be docked points. One of my establishing habits is to write regardless of the state of my desk. For this habit I have chosen to dock myself if I don’t do this task, where as getting into the habit of practicing my cello only gets rewarded since it is a personal goal rather than one that is work related. As for To-Do’s, this is a great place to add tasks such as: “read chapter 1 and revise” or “rework character arch” etc. I recommend starting small and adding habits and Dailies as you master tasks you’ve already set.

You can even build a team for which you can create challenges. But beware, challenges are truly team efforts. One person not fulfilling a daily task hurts everyone!

The program itself cost nothing, though there are “things” you can buy–but I wouldn’t be tempted. It is enough, for me at least, to feel the exhilaration of coin being added to my coffer or earning pets when I check off tasks and fulfill my Dailies to keep me hooked.

While I could go into many other aspects of the program, I think leaving you with a brief description is enough to get started. No one needs to get overwhelmed with a load of details, especially when the point of using the program is to eliminate the feeling of being overwhelmed.

There are loads of ways that you or I could organize our to do lists, but acquiring fluffy bunny britches and slaying dragons while chipping away at my word count goals is some serious  guilt-free fun! I dare you to play.

One response to “Creating Habits with Habitica

  1. Pingback: Analog Journaling: What is it Good For? A Whole Lot, Actually. | write owls

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