In an effort to establish regular routines (diet, exercise, leaving the house, writing actual sentences), I’ve been trying out a site called Habitica. Habitica’s aim is to ‘gamify’ your daily tasks so that every time you accomplish a task you’re rewarded with items completely useless in Real Life ™ but still fun to have. (I tell a lie, you can make up your own rewards such as ‘go to the movies’ but let’s pretend for a moment you’re going to stick with collecting weapons that give you +6 Constitution.)
I decided to try it out because using the site is free, and I don’t have to pay anything to play. Right now, I’m at level six, and I’m riding a totally cool purple wolf because I earned enough for some hatching potion. I also have a dragon’s egg, a panda’s egg and a fox egg which I’ll hatch later. I also have some crazy glowing spear thing that I haven’t used yet. Which is my way of saying that ‘yes’, so far this site has been effective in making me stick to a schedule.
Habitica is available on Android and IOS, making it even easier to tick off your tasks and earn more pretend money to spend on those strangely compelling pretend things. Subscribers can buy even more pretend things, and it also helps out the developers, but you’re under no obligation to do that. You can still effectively play without the gems that allow you to buy much cooler pretend pets and weapons.
There are limitations (sigh, there always is). This isn’t the place for a traditional To Do list. If you need an app to remind you about upcoming birthdays and anniversaries, stick with Google Calendar, Outlook or a specialist app such as ToDoist. But for items like; ‘don’t write and eat chocolate at the same time’, or ‘shower before writing’, or ‘stop wearing your pajamas all day’ or, ‘stop pretending you’re watching Netflix for research’, it’s ideal.
So, my fellow writers, if you need a way to motivate yourself, and have some fun at the same time, Habitica might just be the app for you.
Having said that, I need to report back in about six months from now. Just in case I get bored and let my Habitica avatar and pets die a horrible, painful death from lack of attention. I’ll let you know…