Friday, September 27, 2013

Goodbye lazyness... welcome HabitRPG!

My greatest flaw is that I am kinda lazy. The problem with lazyness is that you are too lazy to overcome it as you would need to stick to a plan... which is imossible if you are lazy.

Luckily I love role playing games and tend to invest a vast amount of time in playing them. Why is this a lucky thing if it further destroys productivity? Well, the secret weapon is a role playing game in which you are really the protagonist, and your tasks are the quests. This might just sum up HabitRPG, but let me explain it in a bit more detail.

I heard about gamification sometime last year and it was an intriguing idea. According to Wikipedia:
"Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage users in solving problems."

This sounded good, but a system of task management and rewards was needed to make it work. This is where HabitRPG comes into the picture.

If you ever player role playing games, you know that you play as a hero that tackles quests and in exchange you get loot and experience that you can use to upgrade your character.

HabitRPG work just like an RPG game. You have a digital representation of yourself with different quest lists. If you finish a quest (task) you get experience that will upgrade your character and coins which you can use to buy rewards like armour for your character or self-set rewards like pizza.

You have 3 task lists. The first is habits that you would like to adopt or loose. I set energy drinks as a habit that I want to loose and tea as a habit that I want to adopt. Whenever I drink an energy link I click on the plus button in front of it and I loose hit points (life force). If you die, you loose all your equipment, coins and will revert to level one. If I drink a cup of tea however, I will gain some experience and coins. Gaining a level will also restore my hp, so if in trouble, completing a few tasks could mean life and death.

The second task list is the real killer in the sense that you will loose a lot of health if you ignore tasks here. This is your daily to do list. You should put tasks that you need to do everyday. I've put taking vitamins and practicing touch typing here for example.

The third task list is the basic todo list. You just put everything that you need to do and do not wish to forget. You will not loose health if you ignore things here a while.

Next to the third task list you have a rewards section where you can buy armour and equipment for your character that add some modifiers to gaining xp and loosing hp. You can also set custom rewards here that will inspire you to do your best. Last time I put the Dead Souls game which was on sale on Steam here for 60 gold pieces and the whole Hitman collection for 100 gold. I had to gain the coins in two days and it was pretty much impossible, but I tried and my productivity skyrocketed. I didn't reach the 100 gold goal, but before the sale deadline I had 61 gold pieces, so I rewarded myself with the Dead Souls game.

A useful feature would be to add a seperate Work task list too. I think items here shouldn't be rewarded, or should get only a fraction of what you get for personal tasks. After all your job is to do your job. Still, it would be nice to see all my tasks on one sceen.

There are many more features like pets and thematic groups in HabitRPG. I also have to mention that they admit it is still kinda buggy and heavily in development. I've been using it for more than two weeks now both on the desktop and with the android client and enjoy every moment of being productive. I have to - as I really want to turn my life around.

Thanks HabitRPG, keep up the good work!