I am a MASTER procrastinator. I have a million things that I’m involved in, and I wait until the last minute to get any of them done; this really works to my advantage because it makes me look super-productive.
In reality, I’m really stressed out.
I’ve tried a million different to-do list apps to stay on top of everything, and I’ve come across a few that are really good, but I just can’t seem to stick with it. Until now.
I tripped across Habitica (formerly HabitRPG) on an obscure tech site, and I was immediately hooked.
It works like any other To-Do list: put your item in, set a date. But when you check it off, you get rewarded in coins. Eventually, you get enough coins to buy stuff to dress up your little 8-bit avatar. If you elect to make a group and work with other people, eventually you and your friends can go battle monsters together. But unless you do your work, you can’t go play.
Speaking of playing, if you’re looking to establish some good habits (or break some bad ones), there’s a spot for that too.
In the past when something doesn’t get done on my to-do list, I would get annoying notifications and alarms, which did little to motivate me. But in Habitica, I lose HEALTH points, which eventually demotes 8-bit Me into Pixel Oblivion (I’m really not sure what happens when you run out of health points, because I’m so OCD I can’t let that happen. I had a 6-year old Tomogatchi. Just kidding. Not really).
There’s several ways to access Habitica; you can log on to their website, or they have an iOS and Android app. I leave the website up at work, which really piqued the interest of my 8th graders. Several of them have now joined the “game,” using it as a time management tool. I’m trying to find a way to incorporate it into my class every day… when I figure it out, I’ll definitely post it.
They also have a pretty robust forum, where people can meet and talk about anything. There’s a general tavern if you want to hang out with random internet people (think old school AOL chat rooms), or you can create your own “Party.” There are some pretty interesting “Guilds” that you can join to bring together people of similar geek interests. The social aspect does not make it ideal for the classroom, but from a teacher standpoint, there’s a goldmine of class ideas in there.
Habitica follows the current gamification trend, prescribing to the belief that if you make it FUN, it won’t suck *quite* as much. My grades are current, my paperwork is done, and I’ve even managed to establish a few good habits along the way. While I still hate to do the work on my to-do list, at least now I can see a true representation that by getting it done, I’m WINNING.
Now I just need to figure out how to get my personal soundtrack to play during life.