Gamify your life? Yup, this is one way we can build good life habits

Saturday, October 20, 2018

I am really not a disciplined person. I cannot keep a schedule and I am hopeless with to-do lists. 

But before you write me off, I don’t see it as a bad thing. Not at all. It’s just who I am and it is how I make things work that matters and how it gives me good experience and learning that makes me glad. 

It was about a week ago that I wanted to make sure I that I do the things I have to and need to do. For a start, I wanted to get back to a daily devotion time. I wanted to make sure I take my medication daily, I do miss it sometimes. I want to walk as much as I can. I want to be hydrated and drink enough water on a daily basis...and more. 

In order to do that, I thought it would be a good idea to find an app that will provide me a checklist that renews itself every day. 

I did find one called Process Street but it is a commercial app that cost $12.50 a month and it will burn me RM630 every year. No can do. 

And the other apps recommended that have free versions like Wunderlist, Google Keep, ToDoist and Microsoft To-Do do not automatically renew checklist on a daily basis. 

Until I found this: Habitica. And it is free. 

It’s is a task management app that was developed by Tyler Renelle when he needed help with his own habits having been inspired by two books: The Power of Habit and The Now Habit

It’s a gamified kind of to-do list and since I have already been in work discussions about gamifying stuff at work, I thought it will be cool to gamify my life to begin with. 

So I signed in. 

I am now on my 8th day and it’s really, really, very, very addictive and what more, for an absolutely good cause. I am finally regularly doing stuff I am suppose to do and I am more mindful about how I use my time, which is the only resource that we have no control over. 

How does it work?

It has three kinds of to-do lists. 

1. Dailies: this is to track habits that I want to complete on a daily basis—things I have to do everyday, no excuse. So unless you do the stuff daily, don’t place it here. It feels very satisfying to check them off as I complete them. And I earn coins too! Haha. It’s a game after all right? So read on to find out what I do with my coins. 

2. To-Dos: this is a list of stuff I need to do that I can check them off when completed. I don’t keep any lists for my personal stuff (and I keep forgetting them). I do it for work on a piece of paper. I have no idea why the Outlook To-Do list do not work for me; I have tried it many times. After 8 days with Habitica, it is working very well for me. The only trick is, the moment I think of something I need to do, I have to immediately add it in before I forget. The only challenge is when it happens when I’m driving. 

3. Habits: and finally, a list for the habits I want to inculcate in my life. Unlike the Dailies which I can only click once a day or the To-Dos that disappears when I click it, items here stay here all the time. And you can click it as many times in a day as you perform them. For example, I want to drink 2 liters of water a day and I break it into smaller chunks of 500ml per time. So in a day, it will be desirable for me to click it 4 times. There are bad habits to undo in my life too. For example, if I were to take any caffeinated drinks after 2pm, it’ll be a minus and I’d lose coins. I haven’t had any coffee or Coke after 2pm and I’ve been sleeping quite well over the past 8 days. Awesome!

Okay, what are these coins about? It’s not like I can use them in real life right? But that’s the beauty of gamification in Habitica. You actually can!

You would have read or seen in many places that come with the advice that we need to earn the things we want to enjoy in our lives. The things we want to buy, TV and movies we want to watch. With that then, you can allocate the number of coins to “buy” the right to do them. 

For example, if you want to eat some comfort food, you can allocate a cost of 60 coins to have a slice of brownie. My bad habit is that I love Korean dramas too much and so this is perfect. I can finally have a kind of a measure of how much I need to do in order to earn the right to watch TV. 

You’d notice that there are these other stuff that cost some coins. These are the equipment and clothes you can buy for your Avatar and there are games in Habitica you can play with the coins earned. But I am not into those stuff. TV and movies are what I like and maybe I’d add comfort food in the list too. (Yum...bacon baked brownies...)

If you do check it out, let you know what you think. You could also use it to get your kids to do some chores and collect enough coins to claim some rewards from you. 

Have fun! Gamify your life!


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1 comment(s)

  1. Oh, thanks you so much for sharing such an interesting and full review of this application. I remember the time, when I tried to find some similar app some time ago, but I had no luck. how to look for a job