They say that a messy desk shows a messy mind — if that’s the case, my mind must be gridlocked. My desk is where paper goes to die. I have four inboxes in my office and not one of those is for work. Between family life, work life, university life and being an adult, it’s almost impossible to keep track of the things that need me to do them.
When I came back to university last year, I realised that something had to change. Day-to-day living is busy, but it’s not usually time sensitive — unlike assessments! I needed to change my organisational system (mostly by finding one), but I knew I needed something that would keep me motivated to use it.
Ladies and gentlemen, the tool to my now (moderately) organised life: Habitica. This website, formerly known as HabitRPG, is a video game to help you improve real life habits. It ‘gamifies’ your life by turning all your tasks (habits, dailies, and to-dos) into little monsters you have to conquer. The better you are at this, the more you progress in the game. If you slip up in life, your character starts backsliding in the game.
Finish a task? Mark it off and get some gold! You can use your gold in-game to buy items, better gear, or to reward yourself. Did the dishes every day for a week? Maybe you want to give yourself a night off. Your tasks and rewards are completely customisable and the site is really flexible with tasks you want to do regularly versus one-offs. I found it really helpful at the start of the week to put in all of the university work that I would have to do — even if I have a bad week and don’t get much done, I know exactly what still needs to be done. This site also has apps for Android and iOS so you can keep track of what you need to do when you’re on the go.
Now, this site isn’t your babysitter, but if you just need a little incentive to finish your jobs, it will help. Sometimes when you’re close to levelling, you even find yourself looking for jobs to tip yourself over the line. You also get a cute little avatar to customise, quests to complete and things to collect (my weakness). It’s far more engaging than any other dry ‘to-do list’ app I’ve ever tried to use.
If you’re living day-to-day with post-it notes, I recommend you give it a go. Life isn’t a game, but it can be.
— 4.5 out of 5 stars
By Rebecca Fletcher