Generating Interest: Guilds for Money Matters

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Illustration by OuttaMyMind

November is already almost over, and many folks are thinking about budgeting for the Holidays, or even about how they want to work on their financial habits in the New Year. In this month’s Spotlight we’re focusing just a few of the many Guilds in Habitica where you can find fellow players to support you in your quest to tame your budget and work toward growing your savings!

Financial Discipline Guild: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/09a66cc6-62d9-4eaf-a705-4ea8ea330544

Financial Discipline is a large, active Guild dedicated to helping its members build healthier habits for their spending and saving. Check it out to read tips from fellow Habiticans and discuss any questions you’d like to post to the group! Financial Discipline also has a variety of Challenges, some of which are updated monthly.

52 Weeks: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/b78dfbb6-3009-4ae8-804d-832b533eac0a

52 Weeks is a Guild built around a series of Challenges designed to improve your life week by week for one year. This Guild’s list of Challenges includes the original 52-Week Challenge, where you put away an increasing number of dollars each week, starting with $1 in the first week of January. By the end of the year, you’ll have saved $1378! Check it out!

Death and Taxes: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/89a035c1-d7c9-42dc-99bd-d30cb11c5417

This guild focuses on helping Habiticans prepare their taxes each year! Check out their chat for a friendly community of folks who are ready to help you with questions and share strategies for getting all that pesky paperwork done efficiently and as inexpensively as possible! It also takes its name from a famous quote.

Quitting Poverty: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/551d0e43-b7d2-48ff-8087-10e8bd4f11e1

Quitting Poverty is a Guild of Habiticans looking to improve their long-term financial situations. A big focus here is unlearning unhealthy short-term spending and saving habits. Though its namesake blog is no longer running and the Guild is less active, its members are working to revive it and would love help if you’re interested!

These Guilds and many, many others are here to help you work on building your budgeting and saving habits . And if you’re looking for more advice on using Habitica to help with Money Matters, be sure to read this month’s Use Case Spotlight, featuring tips and tricks from fellow Habiticans!

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Behind the Scenes: Tips for Burnout Prevention and Recovery from the Habitica Team!

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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’s November, which means we’re right in the thick of the school year and at the start of the rush into the holidays. And after that, we’re into the New Year! How time flies. At times like this, we may find ourselves extra busy, and when we’re extra busy there’s a chance that we may experience the dreaded burnout! In this Behind the Scenes post, some of the Habitica Staff + Mods share their tips and tricks for preventing and recovering from burnout.

Beth, AKA Beffymaroo:

My number one tip is to remember that being overwhelmed shouldn’t be a natural state of being or a state to aspire to. There’s a lot of pressure from different parts of our identities, surroundings, and the people in our lives to be constantly on the go or busy, and then when we actually have a moment where we’re not doing something work-related or “productive”, we feel guilty, like we’re wasting time. You should have moments of quiet, fun, or even just inactivity in your day so you can recharge your body, mind, and soul. Don’t let the “always busy” culture or comparisons with other people make you feel guilty for taking a moment for yourself or for keeping your workload manageable. The time you take for yourself and the boundaries you set for self-care time are an important part of being sustainably functional and productive!

Alys:

Make sure you take regular time off no matter what, and ask for help even when you know the people you’re asking are also busy. Accept that your feelings of burnout are normal and correct. You are meant to feel like this when you have been working too hard. It’s your mind and body’s way of letting you know that changing your processes is necessary to help yourself and to help the people you are doing work/favours/etc for. Also check out Vicky’s post about Meditation.

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Even the bravest bug-smashers need break time!

 

Paglias, AKA Matteo:

I’ve found it super useful not to work after a certain hour in the evening. It’s improved my sleep a lot and together with trying not to work during the weekend, this has really helped with burnout 🙂

Vicky AKA Redphoenix: Things that are on my short list for burnout recovery:

  • Physical workouts. Running, hiking, yoga, calisthenics, helping a friend move, whatever. This is because the next item on my list is
  • Sleep. Burnout for me frequently manifests physically, and one of the issues is that I start not sleeping well. The point at which I realize I need to pull back a little for sustainability is when I basically lose an entire day to sleep recovery.
  • Non-work blackout times. This frequently self-enforces without my consciously noticing it, but I do try to carve out spaces in my day where I tell myself I’m allowed not to be working. Generally applicable tip: Look for activities where you hit flow state, but are not work-related. Then SCHEDULE THEM IN as a non-negotiable obligation, either by putting them on your calendar, or scheduling to meet with a friend, or pulling together the physical supplies you need to do the thing.
  • A Treat. ideally something out of the ordinary. This doesn’t have to be expensive. My favorite little treats for myself have been: dressing up for a gallery show, trying out a new coffeeshop, sub $5 fountain pens. Occasionally, the Treat has been as small as “going outside where I can sit in the sun for a while”.

Leslie AKA Lemoness:

  •  Pay attention to your own personal burnout triggers. Productivity and self-care are very personal things, and what works for someone else may not work for you. Finding a way to keep track of what does and doesn’t work can be useful in developing your own strategies.
  • For me, I have to be cautious about getting too into the zone with work, to the point where I’ll keep working all night, every night. I can handle a few days like this, but long-term, it’s proven to be a recipe for disaster. The way that I combat this on a day-to-day basis is by setting a designated time where there is a very clear break point to stop working — in my case, dinnertime. Then I have someone who can keep me accountable and prevent me from returning to my work afterwards.
  • The time when I have to be the most cautious is actually during the burnout recovery period, when I start feeling energetic again, but my battery has a more limited charge (so to speak). History has shown that I tend to think, “I’m better! Time to massively overcommit again!” and then REALLY wreck myself. This is the equivalent of injuring your ankle and then, after a week of rest, saying, “Hey, I can stand again! Let’s run a marathon this weekend.” Although it can feel frustrating, like you’re holding back your potential, it is critically important to continue your recovery behaviors for longer than you think is necessary. Otherwise, you’ll be out of commission much longer.
  • Finally, if your burnout becomes a long-term, persistent depression, consider seeking help from a professional. There is no shame in reaching out to a mental health professional when you’re suffering, just as there is no shame in going to the doctor when you have pneumonia.
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Don’t let this guy turn you into an Exhaust Spirit!

Sabe AKA SabreCat:

The “take a break” type advice tends to send me into a spiral of doing nothing / doing only recreational-recuperative things. So rather than step back, I prefer to scale down:

  • Reduce sources of pressure and overwhelm. In Habitica, move things from Dailies to Habits wherever possible, and drink a Fortify Potion to blank out the stressful redness. Swap in low-pressure social activities, like board games, for high-pressure ones, like dinner hosting.
  •  Find a minimum comfortable degree of productivity, and stick to that: the “No More Zero Days” approach. Does working the inbox feel crushing and impossible? Resolve to respond to just one message. Too many dirty dishes? Polish one up and put it away. You’ll almost always end up doing more, but getting started won’t feel so frightening.

Keith AKA TheHollidayInn:

Building small habits of doing work daily helps prevent burnout. Slightly counter-intuitive, but for me building coding, reading, etc in small bits to my daily routine outside the 9-5 helps integrate the flow so that I don’t get the feeling of “Oh, it is 9 o’clock, time to change my mindset completely and work hard on problems.”

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We hope these tips and strategies help you prevent burnout, and help you recover if burnout has already taken hold of you! We’d also love to hear your tips, either as comments here on the blog or in the Tavern Chat! Until next time. 🙂

Use Case Spotlight: Money Matters

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Illustration by OuttaMyMind

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight, we featured tips and tricks from Habiticans about using the site and apps to work on Cultivating Positivity. This month, as the holiday season approaches, we’re changing it up and looking at ways to use Habitica to build and improve your financial well-being — particularly in a season that can leave us strapped as we shop for gifts, decorations, and other festive things! Let’s look at some great ideas for using Habitica to set (and maintain!) new tasks and goals related to Money Matters. These come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

James uses Dailies and gets extra accountability through the Financial Discipline Guild and Challenges!:

I have used Habitica extensively to work on my finance game. I have dailies every two weeks (on payday) to balance my checkbook, pay my credit card bills, make savings deposits and do my budgeting.

The Financial Discipline Guild is also a great place to share information, with lots of great challenges, too. It’s where I queried the group to find the best budgeting app.

I’m also running a trilogy of Challenges in the Guild and my party to save up for the emergency fund, and also some fun to-dos to work on taxes, charities, and account management.

Shallan combines Habits and Dailies with a spreadsheet to track expenses and savings:

I have tried to keep things simple. I have a Habit, called “Find where you lost gold,” which I click up whenever I enter an expense. I also have a Daily, which I only get to click if I’ve logged all of my expenses for the day. I have a really simple spreadsheet with my budget, which also calculates how much money I have left “for each day” in the month. I find that number really helpful, as it reminds me how quickly $5 here or there stacks up / eats away at my monthly allowance.

I hope to expand this by adding categories, which will help with future budgeting (“fixed” costs, like personal grooming items) and when tax season comes around.

NickyJay creates a daily budget and watches the savings add up!

I created a daily: “Stay within allotted budget.” I set up a budget for every day of the week, varying from day-to-day based on activities and work schedules I usually have during certain days. I set them all up side by side on a spreadsheet. When I don’t use all of my budget for one day, I set it up so it transfers to the next day. Finally, it shows the amount leftover from my allowance at the end of the week, and I take 20% off of that and move that to savings. It’s been keeping me honest and responsible with my spending and it shows me where I’m spending and rewards me for not spending more than I should. Plus, saving is becoming a lot easier.

Fox_town uses a Habit to stop impulse spending in its tracks!

I have a + habit for “Saw something I wanted to buy – but didn’t, because I didn’t need it”. Once you start paying attention, it’s amazing how many times you can keep your dollars in your pocket for something more important. 🙂

This month’s topic generated an exceptional number of awesome tips and ideas — unfortunately too many to share here! But 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.
Also, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, which showcases groups dedicated to Cultivating Positivity!

The Habit Loop

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Illustration by erikari

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!

We can’t believe 2017 is already almost over! With the end of the year and the busy holiday season approaching, it’s a great time to take another look at the methods you’re using to build better and healthier Habits! Luckily, the Wiki Scribes have great information available for players who are interested in habit-forming methodologies and concepts, such as the Habit Loop!

The Habit Loop is a neurological loop that governs any habit. The habit loop consists of three elements: a cue, a routine, and a reward. Understanding these elements can help in understanding how to change bad habits or form better ones.

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