Habitica – Increase Productivity by Gamification
Some people are on the lookout for a tool to boost productivity and that has a long-term effect. The platform Habitica lets you pursue your daily tasks and develop a virtual character in doing so. Forming a habit or checking off your daily tasks and to-dos earns you virtual gold to equip your character. But be careful! Bad habits or missed tasks can harm your character.
If you're a Habitica member, come visit the ExtraBoost guild. We motivate each other, exchange tips and discuss management methods.
How can a computer game help me to be more productive?
Nowadays many computer games are designed in a way that makes us sit and play a computer game for several hours at a time by manipulating the reward system in our brain. If you achieve certain things in the computer game, which cost a lot of time as well, you will be rewarded with virtual items or gold. This again motivates you to keep gambling! You can make use of such a system to achieve your life goals. If you want to rise in the virtual sphere, you also need to get your tasks in real life done. It is the only way to gain more virtual items or gold, which continues to drive you to do yet more.
How is Habitica structured?
Habitica's main screen shows 4 columns. The first column contains habits, the second daily tasks, the third to-dos and the fourth rewards.
A somewhat disciplined person needs 3-4 weeks to build a habit. It's something that hasn´t been done regularly yet, but should be done regularly. Thus, the character doesn´t lose any health, if it hasn´t been done on a day. But you will be rewarded with experience points, virtual items and gold, if you do it several times a day.
Dailies (Daily Tasks):
In this column you enter your already acquired habits and routines. From your breakfast to your daily lecture of a book or running, everything can be listed here. If you don´t check off your daily tasks, your character takes damage. You can choose the difficulty of your tasks from trivial to hard and depending on the difficulty, the reward respectively the damage is correspondingly high as well.
Here you will find all the things you want to get done in your life. However, you do not have to do them in one day. Often you will find also tasks that have lists of sub-tasks. Again, there are levels of difficulty, and if a task which has been left undone, gets checked off, then your reward will be even higher. The reason for this is that you simply need longer for long-term goals and will be rewarded especially for reaching such goals.
In this column you can use your virtually earned gold to buy items like gear and weapons for your character. You also need to buy healing potions, if your character took too much damage through procrastination.
Pets and Mounts
While you achieve your life goals, you collect in-game items, such as different foods, eggs from different animals and potions. If you pour certain potions on eggs, an animal will hatch from the egg and you can keep it as a pet. If you feed it with the right kind of food, it will become a mount and you can ride it. This does not have any beneficial effect in the game, it´s just eye-candy.
Only together we are strong!
To make things more exciting, they introduced quests for fighting virtual monsters or collecting objects. The more you achieve in real life, the more of both of those you gain. Such quests are taken in groups which are called parties. One party can have more than a dozen members with the same goal. But beware! If you don´t get your tasks done this time, the members of your party take the same damage as you. Of course, you don´t want someone else taking damage for your own laziness, and so you are more productive.
There are predefined challenges, which you can take regularly. These challenges are created by other players. You can find challenges such as “read every day”, “find a new job”, “learn how to draw”, “eat healthily” etc. and many challenges run for a month. Once you finish a challenge, you have the chance to receive virtual diamonds as a reward, which were set up as a prize by the creator of the challenge. You can use these to buy additional items or to create challenges yourself.
Sharing Knowledge within a Guild
There are guilds in Habitica, too. They often relate to an area of topics and connect like-minded people. For the ExtraBoost guild for instance it is efficiency, productivity, organisation, management, mindfulness and personal development. Guilds also can create internal challenges, which in fact can be taken by guild members only.
What keeps me motivated?
It takes a while to get used to the game. But once it runs, you will take challenges regularly. So you would like to discover something new each month and also be the best. And then there´s taking part in challenges you would never have even dreamt of, which can motivate you to get more and more things done. Over time, you will find people with the same interests, who will give you tips or help you to get out of a phase of low motivation.