Caring for the Mind: Guilds for Mental Health and Wellness

rosemonkey_meditation6x
Illustration by Rosemonkey

Hello, dear Habiticans! Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? In honor of this event, this month’s Spotlight focuses on some Guilds in Habitica where you can learn techniques for awareness and mental well-being.

Mentally Ill: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/54846572-9b87-421c-a2f5-11f72ee8ecfc

This Guild is open to all those affected by mental illness and/or looking to improve their mental health. The chat is a supportive and safe space to discuss symptoms and experiences and to share tips and ideas. Mentally Ill also offers a wide variety of Challenges that may offer helpful motivation boosts for learning more about mental health and for managing symptoms.

Mastering Emotions (DBT Skills): https://habitica.com/groups/guild/109d5b3f-661f-49cf-ad1d-53de129ecaf5

Mastering Emotions is a space for Habiticans who are using DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) to manage difficult feelings and the situations around those feelings. Check it out for a welcoming and encouraging chat and a long list of Challenges for learning about DBT methods and for developing skills for emotional management.

ADHDers Guild: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/17848f38-0418-4764-9fe8-91fdc9950e32

This is a large community on Habitica dedicated to creating a supportive and helpful environment for folks with ADD/ADHD. Their Guild description has a tremendous collection of helpful resources, and the chat space there is kind, friendly, and active. ADHDers also hosts a number of Challenges for help, motivation, and for learning more about ADHD and related conditions.

Anxiety Alliance: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/1da5ae22-6659-4600-9951-905f923c9373

This Guild is devoted to those working through anxiety-related mental illness. There’s an active and supportive chat for Guild members to discuss experiences and share tips. There are also a bunch of helpful Challenges–including several that repeat monthly–to help with anxiety management, meditation, and getting out of your comfort zone.

These Guilds and many, many others are here to give you helpful information and community support as you work on improving your mental health and wellness! In fact, there are so many Guilds on Habitica devoted to this topic that we’ll be doing another post (or two!) on this topic in the future.

There’s also a Use Case Spotlight post this week featuring mental health related tips from fellow Habiticans! Until next time, take care. ❤

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Use Case Spotlight: Mental Health and Wellness!

rosemonkey_meditation6x
Illustration by Rosemonkey

Hello Habiticans! Last month, we looked at ideas from your fellow players for using Habitica as you work to make a positive difference in your community and the world! This time, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re looking at making positive change even closer to home. These great ideas for using Habitica to help manage your mental health and wellness come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

sunray notes that a simple Daily reminding us to focus on the good can be an important boost:

I use Habitica to bolster my mental health in the face of chronic illness. Having a Daily to support focusing on the things I’m grateful for has worked really well in helping me stay positive, and the fact that it encourages me to share those things with the people around me strengthens my social connections, too! My Daily is “Express sincere gratitude.” Habitica also helps me meditate daily and make the kind of choices every day that support my best functioning.

Dr_Zoidberg uses the motivation of Challenges to improve their mental and physical health habits:

Habitica has been the most effective tool to date in getting me to change my health and wellness habits for the better. For the last two months I’ve been signing up for challenges that don’t upend my current lifestyle but adjust it enough for the better that each improvement gives a lasting change. I treat my avatar’s life as my own because in the end, that’s what it is. The challenges I choose include physical (steps, exercise, posture, etc.), diet & nutrition, as well as mental well-being/self-confidence. Together the changes have made me happier, more determined, able to recover from “bad days” faster, and I’ve set a long term goal with a specific action plan to get there. I plan to go from little or no exercise weighing ~285lbs to running in a 5K in roughly 13 months time from now. I will adjust every step forward each month based on my progress in the previous, but I’ve set milestones to reach along the way to show exactly how my progress can and will reach that goal. So far I’ve made more progress in the last two months than I have in the last five years. Cheers!

Dagger-13 uses Dailies to face and work through intimidating or difficult tasks that need to get done:

I was a bit wary of joining Habitica when I first heard about it last year, as my coping mechanism for anxiety is to set rules for myself and I was concerned that I might end up using Habitica as an extension of that. However, I am at a stage of managing my anxiety where I can use the system responsibly and as a tool for recovery – I just have to be careful that it doesn’t become a crutch.

I use it as part of my ‘exposure therapy’ – once I identify a ‘task’ I need to expose myself to, I will set it as a daily to give myself the incentive to do it and to make myself accountable. Doing this makes me accountable without having to discuss with others exactly what I’m doing, so it enables me to take external confirmation out of the equation (another comfort mechanism I had – asking others if what I was doing is ‘good’), but if I don’t do it, the task will damage the rest of my party. In addition to this, it works as a relatively harmless ‘punishment’ for not doing the task, so if for any reason I don’t do it I get the damage and move on rather than spiralling into negative self-talk or compensatory behaviour to the same degree that I would have before.

Once I’ve gotten used to exposing myself to the task and it becomes easier, I then remove it from Habitica so that it becomes a more natural habit, one which I don’t have to think about or reward myself for doing. This method gives me the initial push to face my anxiety, and then healthily allows me to let it go.

chikadee provides us with a multitude of awesome examples of ways to use tasks to manage mental health and wellness!

I created an imgur album of screenshots with some explanations here. I have ADHD and some other mental health problems and Habitica has helped me with my self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-care. The Clean Every Day challenge has helped me realize that any progress, even the tiniest bit, is okay. I struggle with cleaning a lot with my ADHD and cleaning the house is one of the most upsetting and stressful things for me. Habits help me view my progress and see the progress I’ve made even when it doesn’t seem like it. Habitica has helped me find a way to work within my limitations (which sounds bad but I can’t think of a better word). By creating habits and dailies and wording them in a fun RPG way or participating in challenges I’m able to frame what I struggle with and the tools I use to help myself in a fun and positive light. It makes every day living and everyday boring self-care tasks fun. There’s been a marked difference in my ADHD as I’ve gotten better at cleaning and I’ve made considerable progress with my nail biting with help from the BFRB guild (I even created my first challenge!)

There were so many helpful and exciting tips we couldn’t feature them all here! You can see them all and join in the discussion in the Use Case Spotlights Guild. One of your ideas could be featured next month! Look for an announcement of next month’s theme from Bailey soon.

And lastly, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, where we’ve highlighted groups that can provide further support and motivation in your mental health journey!

Keeping Parties Motivated

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Illustration by James Danger

It’s Wiki Wednesday! Once a month we highlight a helpful post from the Wiki with tips about productivity, wellness, and optimizing your use of Habitica!

Greetings, denizens of Habitica! One of the key features of Habitica which makes it work as an accountability tool is the Party system. It’s easier to force yourself to get up and do that last load of laundry if you know the boss is going to attack your friends far too hard if you don’t, right? Parties can be more motivating when they’re active, friendly and fun, and this can be especially important to pay attention to if you’re partying up with people you only know from Habitica. This month’s featured Wiki article is on Keeping Parties Motivated:

Parties are one of the primary social features of Habitica. Players in a party have their own chat. They can cooperate on quests, send letters, and use unique items on each other. Quests are a primary means to earn unique rewards. Only players aligned in a party may participate in quests together. They can be a fun way of interacting with the game. Quests also help with accountability, and can provide support and encouragement. It is recommended that a party have no less than four members before engaging in all but the most basic quests.

Over time, even large parties or powerful party members may lose interest or experience burnout. Challenges are one of the many ways of motivating your party. This page is about other methods to keep your party engaged or entertained.

Want to read more on how to spice up your Party life? Head over to the Wiki and check out the full article.

Behind the Scenes: What We’re Playing

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Illustration by eyenne

The “Behind The Scenes” series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Every so often, we’ll treat you to some silly staff shenanigans or show you the work that goes into your favorite features. Enjoy!

Hello Habiticans! It probably won’t come as a big surprise to you all that many of the Habitica Staff are huge video game fans. Today we’re sharing some of the (non-Habitica) games we’re currently playing.

Vicky (AKA Redphoenix):

“I Love Hue (iOS and Android) is a soothing mobile game where you put colors in order. I find it just hard enough to be interesting, but not so engaging so as to suck me away from work I need to be doing and thereby cause more stress. When decisionmaking can get reduced to “is this a purple-y grey or a blue-y grey”, I’m in a comforting kind of zone.

Bastion:  Oldie but goodie! I’m on my first play through (rather than watching someone else play it) and I’m enjoying a lot about the game—particularly the narration performance and art direction. Did you know it was made by a seven person team?”

Leslie (AKA Lemoness):

“Minit:
A snappy, fun pixel adventure where, thanks to a cursed sword, you have only 60 seconds at a time to run around the world, accomplish tasks, and solve puzzles. I thought this game handled its unique constraint in a very clever way.

Gorogoa:
A beautiful, contemplative, wordless game that uses unique perspectives to drive its thoughtful puzzles as you slowly unfold the plot. Dream-like and fascinating, this mobile game has become one of my recent favorites.

Guildlings (Beta Testing):
Technically this comes out in the summer, but I enjoyed the build that I tested enough to mention it! Fun character banter, great art, and an enjoyable “wizards and wifi” premise… but I probably shouldn’t say too much about it yet. I will note that I particularly loved Syb the Upstart and her various “startups” — a word that has a slightly different meaning in the fantasy world of Guildlings… ;)”

Beth (AKA Beffymaroo):

“Like many out there, I’m playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch right now. I’m shamefully behind and haven’t had a chance to play in a while, so I definitely need to get back to it! It’s a beautiful game with a gorgeous landscape and soundtrack, and I love all the many many things to do and explore. As far as I’m concerned it lives up to the hype!

On mobile, I’m playing Flutter: Starlight (available on iOS and Android). It’s a moth collecting game, pretty much. I love lepidopterans generally, and I chose the “Starlight” moth version over the original with butterflies because I find the color scheme and music more soothing. I also love learning more about all the beautiful and strange moths out there! Vicky is also playing and we like to compare notes on our strategies for collecting moths during their special events.”

Keith (AKA TheHollidayInn):

Final Fantasy 14 – my default stress relief. I’m a big Final Fantasy fan and this game has been create since the release of A Realm Reborn

Monster Hunter World – A very nice sequel to the ongoing franchise. My friends pushed me to get in to this grind with them, but it is pretty great.

Mafia III – I’m just starting this game because it is on my Humble Bundle Monthly (which I highly recommend getting). So far so good!”

Tressley (AKA Apollo):

Alien: Isolation
A dark, stealthy survival horror game based on the Alien film series. The game’s plot is set 15 years after the events of the original Alien film. You play Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, while you try to investigate the disappearance of your mother. I’ve really been enjoying this installment in the Alien game series as the stealth/survival horror aspect evokes the original 1979 film’s feeling and tone.

Golf It
A fun mini-golf game focused primarily on the multiplayer experience. The map editor makes for some frustrating, but exciting games with friends. Best paired with a fun group on Discord.”

Sabe (AKA SabreCat):

“Current game: Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. Isometric RPG from the early 00’s with a fantasy-steampunk milieu. Has a lot of variety in how you can build a character, from gunslingers to necromancers to diplomats!

Also using Tabletop Simulator to play the dungeon-fantasy campaign board game Gloomhaven. Explore the world, level up, fulfill your personal quests, opening sealed envelopes and boxes as you unlock new characters and expand the town!”

Nikki (AKA shanaqui):

“I’m usually playing too many casual games at once, while neglecting a plotty behemoth I should be keeping track of. Right now I’m ignoring my replay of Final Fantasy XIII — I love the whole FF series, but this is not a fave! I do really enjoy strategising with the different class combinations, but I haven’t got to that stage in my replay yet. Casually, I’m playing Kingdom Rush Frontiers, which is a tower defence game with fun Easter eggs now and then. Perpetually, I’m playing Faster Than Light, which I’ve played nearly 200 hours of and won only eight times. I enjoy the mix of luck and strategy, though, and I have some fun mods which make things even more strategic.

Huh, apparently I’m into strategising and tactics? Good to know…”

Sara (AKA piyorii):

“I’m playing Nier: Automata. The game has an existential, calm post-apocalyptic atmosphere to it that I really enjoy exploring. Its one of those games that sticks with you after you turn it off, and I find myself talking with friends about our interpretations. It also has a very in-depth combat and upgrade system that has you learning slick combos and new strategies long into the game. I’m on my third playthrough, but unlike most games, each playthrough is like a sequel built into intended experience of the game as a whole. the first time you beat it, you don’t get all the story! I’m having a lot of fun exploring the world and uncovering all the secrets it’s hiding, and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes third person action RPGs.”

What games are you playing right now? We’d love to hear your recommendations! Feel free to share them in the comments, or pop into the Tavern chat to discuss there! ❤

Use Case Spotlight: Making a Difference!

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Illustration by Katy133

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight, we looked at ideas for upping your Spring Cleaning game and getting your home in order. This April, in honor of National Volunteer Month, we’re focusing on tips to help motivate you and keep you on track when you’re working for positive change in your world. These great ideas for using Habitica to make a difference come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Dagger-13 starts us off with some ideas for tasks for making a difference, as well as a great method for keeping track of all your hard work:

I’ve got a number of habits in the theme of ‘making a difference’ – I volunteer at a local arts venue, so that’s on there (I ‘plus’ it each time I help out), and I also attend and help out at a meditation centre (again, a plus each time I attend). I take part in a monthly challenge to pick up and throw away/recycle rubbish I see outside (one plus for every three pieces I pick up) and I have a ‘donate to charity’ positive habit. I’ve also recently set a ‘did a good deed’ habit to encompass other things which I do which don’t have their own habit.

I set all of these to reset weekly, so at the end of the week I can have a look at my total and see how much I’ve managed to do. Doing it this way gives me the motivation to keep going, or to buck up my ideas I don’t put a negative on these as I don’t feel like we have to do these things (there’s too much ‘should’ing in the world!), but I choose to do them and therefore they’re a positive contribution to others.

Shutzie27 uses tasks and tags to help organize their civic activism:

I’m a very civically active person and Habitica is a huge part of helping me keep different ongoing projects going. For example, at the moment I’m trying to make my street safer by getting sidewalks, so I have an “Operation: Sidewalks for ALL” tag and whenever I need to call the city to ask a question a prospective signer may have I put that on my To Do list.

I’m also on my Legislative District’s communications committee and a precinct committee person so whenever I have a task for that it goes on the To Do list with my “LD24” tag. Finally, I have some Habits and Dailies I use as well. One plus-only habit I have is “Protect democracy through civic engagement.” I give myself a plus whenever I attend a meeting of a civic or advocacy organization (for example, today I went to a Phoenix Spokes People meeting) so I plus’d myself.

SweetenedPoison points us to another Guild you can join for tips and support for volunteering (and for fun manga discussions!):

My guild, The Magical Girls is focused on “saving the world” through volunteering, community service, being generally helpful/friendly, and so on. The challenge that highlights volunteering is the Become a Magical Girl! challenge. It’s helped me get started in the volunteering process, as well as a bunch of other Habiticans who are out fighting the good fight or working on their way to getting there 🙂

Scea reminds us that even making a difference for one person is important!

Since I heard how [little] service workers earn, I learned to appreciate their work. Every time I meet one of these persons, I remember how important they are for my every day life, and I try to give them at least an encouraging smile – even if I had a not so funny day. Perhaps I am the only person in a good mood the cashier has seen this day – so I try to be polite and cheer them up with some chit-chat or simply brighten their day by being a happy person. And sometimes my own day wasn’t this bad, too.

Perhaps this is not a big difference I make, but I know that even the tiniest things can make a big difference for another person.

You can see more tips and join in the discussion in the Use Case Spotlights Guild– one of your ideas could be featured next month! Look for an announcement of next month’s theme from Bailey soon.

And lastly, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, where we’ve highlighted more groups that can help give you even more motivation and support as you volunteer and work for causes that matter to you!

It’s the Little Things: Tiny Pet and Mount Pics from Habitica’s April Fool’s Celebration

Habiticans enjoyed yet another April 1st marked by silly pixel antics this year! This time, the April Fool assured us he’d “keep it small.” Little did we know his nefarious prank would indeed be shrinking some of our favorite things in Habitica: our pets and mounts!

As part of a special Challenge to mark the occasion, many Habiticans shared their  avatars with their newly miniaturized friends on social media! Here are just a few of the many awesome pics you all posted as part of the Challenge!

First, here are the entries from our Challenge Winners!

Al Lith
Al Lith is ready for battle with their itty bitty (but very shady!) Cactus and Ferret!
Frar of the Lonely Mountain
Frar of the Lonely Mountain‘s Hippogriff is suddenly quite overwhelmed by that sack of loot.
Koliz
Here’s Koliz and the Order of the Teensy Phoenix
Garwinna
Luckily for mighty Garwinna, the Skeleton Cactus’s intimidation factor is hardly diminished by its small size.
Meakuel
Meakuel‘s Penguin is SO CUTE but maybe should be a little worried about being carried off by butterflies.

 

A few of Habitica’s mods and staff may have had just a bit too much fun:

notabug
Beffymaroo can’t resist a classic art reference.
shanaqui
“Habitica has never illustrated my life quite so well before!,” exclaims shanaqui.

 

And here are some more of our favorite entries! There were so many great ones, it was hard to choose just a few to feature here.

Epic
“Just a regular fancyman with his tiny friends,” says Epic.
claudia, Evil Overmom
claudia, Evil Overmom, has news for the Fool: “The April Fool is supposed to make trouble, but instead he granted my wish for a slug pet too tiny to threaten my tulip-y gorgeousness! The joke’s on you, April Fool!”
skasha
skasha has an urgent message! “My dragons were annoyed about it right up until they realized they could dive into my rainbow sherbet head first. Now everything is sticky. … Send help.”
Nyctereutes
What are these, pets for ants?! Nyctereutes exclaims.
kkgmt
kkgmt notes, “Though she be little, she is fierce!”

 

Citrusella favored us with three unique looks, and one interesting experiment with a css style!

 

Folks in the Costume Carnival Guild also had a lot of fun with the mini-pets and mounts:

Drexxis
Drexxis makes it springy (but with a touch of spookiness) in the Skeleton Skin.
tangerinequartzfox
TangerineQuartzFox is: THE FROZEN GUARDIAN OF THE MICROGRIFFS!
Poirot
Poirot‘s frog is determined to be the best mount it can be, despite its small stature.

 

 

Lalaitha gave us two looks: Tiny Bees! And Crocheted Hippo Plushie Time!

We had so much fun bringing you more of the April Fool’s goofy antics this year! We’re glad you had as much fun as we did. Stay tuned to see what that delightful joker is up to next April 1!

 

Be the Change: Guilds for Making a Difference

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Illustration by Katy133

Hello Habiticans! Did you know April is National Volunteer Month in the U.S.? That makes this month a great time to get involved in making the world a better place. In this month’s Spotlight, we’re focusing on just a few of the many Guilds in Habitica where you can find fellow players to support you as you change your community, country, or even the whole planet for the better!

Ghost Ship: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/4b4c7c73-884d-42ea-b2f8-e6be35d28479

Did you know that by becoming an organ donor, you can potentially save the lives of eight or more other people? Join Ghost Ship to learn more about becoming an organ donor and how very important that is to so many people! In this Guild you can also join the “<3 I am an organ donor! <3” Challenge so you can get an achievement for your profile that lets other Habiticans know you’ve taken this generous step to save lives.

Effective Altruists: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/7264bf75-e413-482a-8fcd-279c421610d6

This Guild is a Habitican community for folks interested in the social and philosophical movement of Effective Altruism, which focuses on finding evidence-and reason-based methods for improving the world. Check out this Guild for a supportive chat, and a number of Challenges to get you started on helping others and making your community and world better!

InHabitants of Earth: the eco-friendly guild: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/9b8989b7-73e9-4904-af1a-77e34e7b8094

InHabitants of Earth focuses on a very important aspect of creating change for the better in the world: living sustainably! Take a look at their Challenges for ideas to help you be more eco-conscious in your everyday life. Plus, their chat is full of ideas and tips!

Accountability Buddies: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/9585fe1b-854b-4495-9cde-f09dbf2f53d1

Some of the most important things we can do to make a positive impact on the world is to support and encourage others. Accountability Buddies matches Habiticans together so that they can pursue their goals with added support. Check it out today if you’re willing to be an Accountability Buddy, and/or if you need one yourself!

These Guilds and many, many others are here to help you find new ideas and motivation for making a difference! Stay positive, and remember all the little things we all do out of kindness and care really do add up. ❤

Self-Imposed Challenges

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Illustration by WillowTheWitty

It’s Wiki Wednesday! Once a month we highlight a helpful post from the Wiki with tips about productivity, wellness, and optimizing your use of Habitica!

Hello Habiticans! Are you a long-time player looking for a higher difficulty level? Or are you new, but want to really test your mettle in your quest to be more productive? We’ve got some great Wiki articles detailing how to customize your Habitica experience to fit your goals and style, thanks to our wonderful and hard-working Wiki Scribes! This month we’re looking at Self-Imposed Challenges:

Habitica offers numerous ways to test the resolve of players, such as achievements, quests, and challenges. However, a player may reach a point where they feel they have earned every in-game award. Other players may find their current level or stockpile of gold makes the game too easy and allows them to indulge more bad habits than they would like.

The suggestions below have been created by users to keep the game feeling new and challenging even for advanced players. Most of them make the game more difficult, but some change play style in other ways. Several of these can be combined to create a truly challenging play experience.

Want to know more? Head over to the wiki to check out the full article!

Behind the Scenes: Habitica Staff Podcast Picks!

phone_peek_podcast
Illustration by Jessica Chase and Beffymaroo

The “Behind The Scenes” series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Every so often, we’ll treat you to some silly staff shenanigans or show you the work that goes into your favorite features. Enjoy!

Hello Habiticans! In this month’s edition of Behind the Scenes, we’re talking podcasts! If you’re not already on the podcast train, we highly recommend hopping on. Podcasts are a great way to learn, laugh, and be entertained when your media choices are limited to audio options. We love to listen to them while commuting, doing chores around the house, exercising, and more!

Beffymaroo, AKA Beth:

“I listen to TONS of podcasts. A lot of them are true-crime podcasts, because that’s a subject I’m very interested in. A pick I think might be more relevant to Habiticans (and easier for Tavern discussion, haha) is Stuff You Missed in History Class. It’s a really fun show from HowStuffWorks where the hosts discuss interesting off-the-beaten path corners of world history, or more obscure facts about well-known events and people. It’s always fascinating and often gives me a good laugh, too!”

SabreCat, AKA Sabe:

The Fastcast is ‘a podcast for nerds with short attention spans.’ It’s a discussion ‘cast covering pop culture and media, with an emphasis on niche games, each episode edited down to around 20 minutes. I like it because I tend not to be able to concentrate if I have a podcast running while I do other things, so the short runtime is good to sit with, listen to in its entirety, and move on!”

Redphoenix, AKA Vicky:

Planet Money: One of the great NPR podcasts (next to This American Life, which goes without saying). Covers topics about finance and economics in a really accessible and often entertaining way. Not at all as dry as you would expect given the subject matter.

Martini Shot: roughly four minutes per episode on the foibles of the entertainment industry, but often generally applicable to other contexts. Rob Long, the host, strikes an excellent balance between being respectful but not indulgent of the craziness of show business.

Writing Excuses: This Hugo award-winning podcast takes fifteen minutes to break down a particular aspect of the writing craft. Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells, and Mary Robinette Kowal bring a variety of writing styles and philosophies to the table and are often joined by additional writer friends. A mini lecture series taught by the who’s who of science fiction and fantasy writers.”

Vicky also recommends this link from How-To Geek if you need help getting started with podcasts.

staff_updatedFeb2017

Paglias, AKA Matteo:

Matteo recommends The Indie Hackers Podcast: “It’s a series of conversations with founders of small internet business , how they got the ideas, the customers, the problems they had, etc.”  Sounds like a great fit for Habiticans interested in the start-up world or internet-based business!

TheHollidayInn, AKA Keith:

“I definitely recommend Ologies – it has a great host who interviews all different types of -ologists. Then Stuff To Blow Your Mind with two host who delve into interesting facts of life and discuss the research behind it. And finally I recommend Pod Save America because politics can be fun and it’s important 🙂 ”

Viirus, AKA Phillip:

“Currently I like to listen to Under the Radar, which is a 30 minute podcast about iOS development and working as an independent developer and Fragmented, which is about Android development. For non-tech podcasts I also like the Invisibilia podcast, that explores various topics about how humans are shaped by “invisible” influences.”

Lemoness, AKA Leslie:

“I actually spend all my listening time on audiobooks instead! I check them out of the library for free using the Overdrive app. It’s a great way to read books while doing chores.”

What podcasts are you loving right now? We’d love to hear your recommendations! Feel free to share them in the comments, or pop into the Tavern chat to discuss there! ❤

Use Case Spotlight: Spring Cleaning

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Illustration by Leephon

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight, we looked at methods for creating and nurturing your connections to the other people in your life. Now that it’s March, we’re switching gears and thinking about the time-honored tradition of Spring Cleaning! These great ideas for using Habitica to up your Spring Cleaning game come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Poscogrubb gives some solid advice to get us started:

Like other tasks that may be unpleasant, spring cleaning will be easier and more fun if you are well-rested and well-fed. On a day that you plan for major spring cleaning, start your day with plenty of light, fresh air, and a great breakfast.

Dan O’Dea gives some great general tips for structuring your Spring Cleaning attack plan:

Spring cleaning: make a list and prioritize. Some general suggestions:

  • Do one room at a time. Finish that before moving to the next room.
  • Exception: certain tasks, like washing windows, are best done at once rather than separately in each room.
  • Pick a place/room to start and set a direction. For example, start at one end of the house and work toward the other end on one floor, then move to the next floor (if you have one).
  • If you have clutter, get rid of stuff. If you don’t have an emotional attachment or a need to keep something, sell it, give it to someone who needs it, recycle it, or toss it.
  • Use the Pomodoro Technique to clean. That is, clean for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, clean for 25… like that.

And (it almost goes without saying!), use Habitica to schedule your cleanup tasks.

Liško reminds us that Challenges can be a great motivation boost:

The very first challenge that I did in Habitica was a cleaning challenge.

And this is also my answer to the question on how I use Habitica for (spring) cleaning: challenges! The challenges are often very well made and it helps a lot to have a list of to-dos already prepared for you, instead of having to plan and think of everything thyself. Then I just have to do one task after the other and not think too much about what I might have missed. Also, I find doing challenges very rewarding if one exchanges ideas and progress reports with the other participants in guilds, and just knowing that others work on the same tasks as me, in addition tickles my sense for competition and motivates me more to get my stuff done.

Dagger-13 notes the importance of sorting through your things and evaluating what you actually want to keep, as well as what you could donate to those in need!

I’ve heard of a method which uses three bags/boxes – ‘put away’, ‘give away’ and ‘throw away’. When you tidy up an area, put each item in the applicable box (unless you can put it where it belongs straight away). Then you can go through the boxes every so often and clear them out into their respective destinations – the ‘give away’ box going to friends, family or charity, the ‘put away’ items being put where they belong and the ‘throw away’ stuff being recycled or chucked.

This way, you might not get so ‘stuck’ on one area as you try and decide what to do with each item as you find it. I like to have a charity bag tucked away somewhere – I place items in it as and when I decide they should go, but keep them hidden for a while so that I can be sure I definitely don’t need it. Delaying this way means that you don’t need to fret about getting rid of stuff you still need.

In terms of using habitica for this, I’ve got a ‘give to charity’ habit, but that includes monetary donations. I guess you could set a to-do once you’ve started your boxes to clear them out by a certain date and that way you won’t forget or end up with a million boxes (which would effectively be just moving clutter from several places into one area!)

There were so many helpful and exciting tips we couldn’t feature them all here! You can see them all and join in the discussion in the Use Case Spotlights Guild– one of your ideas could be featured next month! Look for an announcement of next month’s theme from Bailey soon.

And lastly, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, where we’ve highlighted groups that can help give you even more motivation for your Spring Cleaning goals!