A while back I grumbled to the Patreon supporters that all the apps and online tricks and lifehacks did nothing for me productivity-wise. You mention it, I’ve probably done it and from the looks of my desk, completely failed at it. But then Nicole, an old friend from Viable Paradise, pinged me to say that she had been playing with HabitRPG and had found it incredibly helpful.
Tried it. LOVED IT.
You are an adventurer, dealing with three things: habits (things you want to work on, like “don’t drink soft drinks” or “stop swearing”), dailies (things you must do daily, like “make the bed” and “write 1000 words”), and ToDos (write a book, get car inspected.) When you do your good things in any of the three categories, you get experience points, gold, and sometimes loot drops. When you do a bad habit, or miss a daily chore, then you take damage.
It gets interesting when you form a party and go on a quest, which gives out better loot at the end, but the real motivator is the fact that when you don’t do your daily items, the monster attacks everyone on your team. Before, you thought you’d be OK taking the damage of not doing the dishes, but now everyone suffers.
Gold buys you equipment. Loot drops include eggs (all pets come from eggs, even tigers and cacti), hatching potions (which you pour over an egg, giving a type to your animal, like zombie dragon, or golden bear), and food (which you feed to pets to make them grow into mounts.) When you drop to zero HP, you die, taking all your gold, one level, and one random item. It sucks.
When you boil it down, it is another todo list, and no matter how many funny images you put on it, and how many cute pets and mighty mounts I get, doing the laundry is still doing the laundry. But knowing that when I’m done, i can get the possibility of pretending that laundry basket was a mighty sword and maybe get a new pet or some food to turn a pet into a mount, makes it a bit more rewarding.
The community is amazing, though. There are people using HabitRPG to deal with a lot more than I struggle with, like obsessive habits and even self-harm. The “Tavern” (the side-wide group chat) is heavily moderated to keep abuse at bey, with the mindset that we all are here to better ourselves and don’t need to, well, shit on others’ attempts. They’re also super-helpful to newbies (the wiki is also quite detailed). I don’t post there often, but I died recently right before the expensive winter items came out, and went to whine that I was a down-on-her-luck penniless healer.* Two strangers sent me gems immediately. (You have to buy gems with real moneys, or with gold if you subscribe to the site with real moneys.)
If there’s a downside, it’s hard finding people you know on the site unless you have their user ID, an incredibly complex set of numbers (for example, my UID is 2a157564-237e-412e-8a49-ec18f330b088). Then again, you can find people through guilds of like-minded folks. I’ve set up an I Should Be Writing guild, it’s small but at least it helps me find people.
HabitRPG has a mobile (Android and iOS as far as I know, maybe more) app where you can log your stuff, but the site changes much more often than the app updates, which is a bit frustrating.
But overall, it’s shown to be very motivating for me, and when I made Beastmaster a few days ago – where I hatched all 90 pets – I admit it was a thrill. If you’re having trouble with motivation, I recommend HabitRPG. It’s free, but you get no ads and gems to spend if you subscribe, and this site is well worth my moneys.
* At level 10 you can choose your class. It’s hard to see from my huge zombie panda mount, but I’m carrying the rod and shield of a healer. Healers, well, heal people and buff constitution so people won’t take so much damage from missed tasks. Rogues get better loot drops. Mages get more XP and keep their streaks alive even if they miss a day. Warriors hit things really hard.