Use Case Spotlight: Interpersonal Relationships

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Illustration by Aries Faries

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight, we looked at ways to use Habitica to set (and keep!) realistic goals for the New Year. This month, since Valentine’s Day is on the way, it’s a great time to look at methods for creating and nurturing connections to the other people in your life. These great ideas for using Habitica to maintain and improve friendships, romantic relationships, and family connections come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

indescribble starts us off with a simple Habit to encourage interaction with others:

I have a ‘ Socialised!’ daily which doesn’t count for those I live with or talk with daily (hubby, child, parents, inlaws etc) but does count for extended family, strangers etc.. I’ve found it has encouraged me to talk to other parents at my child’s school, other students in my uni classes, reach out to cousins for a chat on the phone, talk to random strangers when waiting in line etc..

Dan O’Dea shares some great thoughts on how to make your conversations more meaningful by listening with your full attention:

…Build a habit with a plus-minus system. The habit is, “Monitor your conversations today. For every conversation longer than ten minutes, check one of the following.

  1. If you listened more than you talked and didn’t try to resolve the “problem” unless asked to, click the Plus box.
  2. If you listened more than you talked and gave an answer the other person asked for, click the Plus box.
  3. If you talked more than you listened or gave an answer that wasn’t asked for, click the Minus box.
  4. If the conversation was specifically to answer a question, don’t click either box.

…Doing this sort of thing (listen to how people feel and respecting it rather than judging it on your standards) helps in a lot of ways.

Genleevia shares a Habit to help you cope with the people you interact with often but may find difficult or unpleasant:

Last year, I rented a room in a house with four strangers who I could barely tolerate. Itching to live on my own but unable to justify the cost, I bit down my irritation and resentment toward my housemates and spent several months being deeply, silently unhappy. Then I created a habit called “Think nice thoughts about housemates (they’re people, too!).” When I caught myself spiraling into a dark, resentful place, I’d consciously redirect myself toward positive thoughts and dwell on good interactions we’d had–and tick the positive habit box. If I indulged in the dark spiral, I’d mark the negative habit box. Thankfully, I could delete the habit in the spring when I finally moved into my own place. But while it lasted, the “Think nice thoughts” cue actually worked wonders!

diapasoun gives some tips on using a Daily to keep your long-distance relationships strong:

Many of my friends (especially from school) have moved away from our city, some to other continents; we’re a pretty far-flung bunch. I have a daily, due on Sundays, for checking in with far-off friends; it has a checklist of names. If I’ve checked in with that person that week, or otherwise made sure to keep the friendship connection going, I get to check off their name. Some people are very easy to keep in contact with, but for the people who are harder, the daily has absolutely made me check in with them when I wouldn’t have otherwise.

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, which showcases groups dedicated to Setting (and Keeping!) Realistic Goals!

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New Goals for the New Year! Guilds for Setting (and Keeping) Realistic Goals

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2018 is in full swing, Habiticans! January is a great time to set new goals and think about what you’d like to accomplish before it’s time to ring in yet another new year. In these Habitica Guilds, you’ll find fellow players to support you and your goals (or resolutions, even!) for the coming year and beyond.

Official New Year’s Resolution Guild: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/6e6a8bd3-9f5f-4351-9188-9f11fcd80a99

If you’re pursuing a special goal for 2018, the Official New Year’s Resolution Guild is here for you! Official Habitica Challenges will be posted there every month this year, each with a different theme related to maintaining your progress and accountability. For even more support, check out the Guild chat. It’s full of folks checking in about their goals and offering each other encouragement!

Short-Term Goal Accountability: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/59f699a3-9d22-4d6d-b34a-8fcdf2ad1dac

Are you working on a goal that’s more of a week-long or month-long pursuit? How about an extra push to accomplish just one of your tasks for today? Look no further than the Short Term Goal Accountability Guild (or, as it’s affectionately mis-abbreviated, the STAG Guild)! This Guild has a huge selection of helpful Challenges that are regularly rotated and updated. They also have a very active chat made up of helpful Habiticans ready to motivate you!

Long-Term Goal Accountability: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/7c6fcc88-9ff0-47d1-9fca-80e3091c225b

If you’re working on a longer-term project or another goal that’s three or more months in the future, this Guild is here to help. LTGA offers a number of fun themed Challenges to help you stay on track to reach those big milestones and a chat full of folks discussing how their goals are going. Plus, it’s headed by our very own Moderator and Wise Woman, Dewines! 🙂

Library of Tasks and Challenges: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/adcd6903-e3c6-4c27-a0e9-21f2e7515cd6

This Guild is the perfect place to go for inspiration if you have a goal in mind but aren’t sure how to best use Habitica’s features to pursue it. The chat has lots of Habiticans sharing task and Challenge ideas. Plus, there’s a huge list of Challenges in the Guild itself that you can use to copy tasks into your own list. These Challenges cover a wide variety of topics and possible goals!

These Guilds and many, many others are here to help you set achievable goals and to support you as you pursue them! And if you’re looking for more advice on using Habitica to help with setting realistic goals, be sure to read this month’s Use Case Spotlight, featuring tips and tricks from fellow Habiticans!

SMART Goal Setting

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Illustration by Willow the Witty

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.

Happy New Year, Habiticans! At this time of year, lots of folks are making resolutions and setting new goals, but keeping those through the whole year can be a real challenge. If you’re working to set and keep realistic resolutions and goals, you might be interested in the SMART Goal Setting method. If you’re not familiar with this concept, or would like to learn more about it, the Habitica Wiki has a great guide, courtesy of our fantastic Wiki Scribes!

SMART goal setting is a productivity methodology designed to help you achieve your goals by improving the goals themselves. By ensuring all goals follow the 5 SMART criteria, you can create better goals and have a better chance of achieving them.

The SMART criteria are:                                                                

S.M.A.R.T.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

Want to know more? Head over to the wiki to check out the full article. And if you’re making a special resolution for 2018, you may also want to check out our special New Years Resolution Challenge and Guild for support and accountability through the whole year!

Use Case Spotlight: Setting Realistic Goals

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In last month’s Use Case Spotlight, we looked at ways to use Habitica to motivate yourself and stay organized as you take on your important tasks to prepare for all the fun (and the occasional stress!) of the holidays. This month, as we start the new year, it’s a great time to look at methods for goal setting. These great ideas for using Habitica to set new and realistic goals for 2018 and beyond come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Lalaitha starts us out with great ideas for motivating yourself and your Quest Party to set and achieve New Year’s goals!

In my Party we started a New Year goal challenge about a year ago. We are re-running it this year, since it seemed pretty helpful. The challenge is about finding your main goal(s), figuring out what may prevent you from reaching them, and what you can do to keep that from happening/keep yourself motivated. Then we share that with the Party (or just parts of it, if some of it is too personal), and create Habits/Dailies that can serve as reminders to reach the goal. Each month there’s a Daily for checking in with the Party to tell a bit about how it’s going, and if there’s been any obstacles. This way we can help each other stay motivated and come with advice if needed.

Quite simply, the challenge has a list of to-dos. The first is about listing 5-10 goals you’d like to achieve. From that you should narrow it down to 1-2 goals. Those would be your main goals for the year. That’s the second task. Some of the goals you didn’t select can serve as secondary goals (they don’t have to, that’s up to you), but the main goal(s) is(/are) the most important one(s).

From there you list the things that may come in the way of achieving your goal(s). Then, list the things you can do to prevent them from happening, and keeping yourself motivated. Those could perhaps be used as a Daily or Habit to keep you accountable.

An important step is to write it all down somewhere. That way it’s really set and you will be able to remember it 6 months later.

Daenalia Elvandruile keeps realistic expectations at the forefront, while emphasizing the importance of persistence!

Your New Year’s Resolutions start great! You feel amazingly productive for a week or two and all of January was pretty good on the whole. But. There’s always a but. You’ll take a week off halfway through March … just one week you tell yourself, I’ll just have a short break and get back to it afterwards. And before you know it, it’s November and you’re watching YouTube every day instead of exercising, your last blog post was 200 words 3 months ago and you know that feeling. You hit rock bottom because you did too much.

Instead I’d only pick one major goal. Just one. Then make a plan for what you’ll do on it every week and push yourself to do it even when you had a hard week. Maybe also add a couple smaller goals like doing a plank every day for a minute (not 5 minutes) or cutting social media a little, just 15 minutes less every day or something similar, but I wouldn’t have more than 3 little goals or all your little goals will overwhelm you.

Once you’ve picked your goals, you need a plan. Your major goal might be learning an instrument. So find a teacher/course, dedicate to practicing a set amount each day, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, just at least 6 days a week (I find one day of rest really helpful). You might have a goal as well, like finishing grade 2 work by the end of the year or being able to play a duet with a friend. Thats great! Now you know you have a routine that you must stick to. And your smaller goal? Say you choose exercise. Start small, I can’t stress that enough. Do 10 minutes a day or go to the gym once a week and only increase if you’ve been doing it for about a month and you’ve got motivation.

And last, but not least, try again next year, or even earlier. I want to be tidier and I started with my bedroom in 2015 and it lasted 3 weeks. In 2016 I got all the way to June, hit a rough week and motivation sprouted wings and flew away. 2017 was great, I was fairly tidy all the way through and in 2018 I’m going to try and keep my craft space tidy as well. Little steps to a big goal!

Dlk62385 uses “SMART” goals to help keep resolutions realistic!

SMART goals: Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Timely. It can be used to help make goals that are specific and geared towards where you want to be and what you are aiming for. I myself need to work on setting due date for my to dos and sticking to them. I am great at breaking my larger goals down into smaller goals to make them achievable but with no due date I tend to wait longer between each of my mini goals than I would if there was a end point to meet.

Gumnos expands on using “SMART” criteria to keep themselves on task.

For my most realistic goals, I consolidate the “SMART” criteria to deal with the aspects that give me the most struggle: prioritization & bite-sized tasks. I find that I flounder if I have a bunch of doable tasks but no clear idea which to do next. So I make sure my to-do list is prioritized, putting The Most Important Thing for any given context at the top.

Likewise, I struggle if I know which project I need to work on next, but haven’t broken that into manageable bits that can actually be completed. So I make sure that the project is decomposed into things I can accomplish in a single time unit.

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.

Also, be on the lookout for an upcoming Wiki post featuring more information on using Habitica to set SMART goals, a topic touched on by several contributors to this post.

And lastly, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, which showcases groups dedicated to Holiday Tasks!

Making Your Days Merry and Bright: Guilds to Help With Holiday Tasks!

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Illustration by weeWitch

The holiday season is upon us, Habiticans! 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 head into the holidays prepared for all the work involved as well as all the fun!

Seasonal Decoration Guild: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/f065a669-9483-42d4-9562-7f8dd5b8adb7

The Seasonal Decoration Guild is ready, willing, and able to help you with all your holiday prep needs! From decorating and baking to budgeting, this Guild has a great active chat and runs a number of helpful Challenges for extra motivation! Plus, this Guild is led by our very own Seasonal Sorceress, Leslie (AKA: Lemoness) 🙂

Chef’s Special: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/0f2c28ff-35db-47eb-a459-5466dcd7d958

One of the very best things about the holiday season is all the delicious food we can make and share with family and friends! If you’re in the market for recipes and ideas for holiday dinners, desserts, or other special confections, look no further than the Guild chat in Chef’s Special. This Guild also has some fun Challenges encouraging finding new recipes, trying new things, and using up ingredients.

The Procrastinators: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/3d5c008e-664a-4cc6-a1bd-34d1baccc31e

With the holidays so close, is it possible you’ve left some tasks to the last minute? If so, fear not! Procrastinators is here to help give you the boost of motivation you need to get it all done. They feature an active chat full of members sharing tips, as well as a bunch of great Challenges to really get you going!

The Mindfulness and Stress Relief Guild: https://habitica.com/groups/guild/5b92fb16-8a21-4678-ad85-655f00683c3a

Finally, even though the holidays are a time of joy and togetherness, they can also bring stress. We rush through tasks, and sometimes all the time with friends and loved ones can even overwhelm us! Check out The Mindfulness and Stress Relief Guild for a supportive chat as well as Challenges created to help you slow down, de-stress, and take care of yourself.

These Guilds and many, many others are here to help you get prepared to spend your holidays ready to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. And if you’re looking for more advice on using Habitica to help with holiday tasks, be sure to read this month’s Use Case Spotlight, featuring tips and tricks from fellow Habiticans!

Use Case Spotlight: Holiday Housekeeping

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Illustration by weeWitch

In last month’s Use Case Spotlight we featured tips and tricks from Habiticans about using the site and apps to work on better financial habits in anticipation of the holiday season. This month, as the holidays arrive, we’re looking at ways to use Habitica to motivate yourself and stay organized as you take on your important tasks to prepare for this festive time of year! These great ideas for using Habitica to set new tasks and goals related to Holiday Housekeeping come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Dan O’Dea gets us in the mood with thoughts on preparing your kitchen for holiday cooking and baking!

Cleaned my kitchen today, including the cabinets holding my baking stuff. I looked over my pans and tossed everything that had its lining damaged. I still have too many cookie sheets but I’m not overloaded anymore.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to go over your cookware and get rid of the damaged pieces you can’t use.

Gumnos uses To-Do’s to make sure all the decorations, gifts, and other seasonal traditions in their home go off without a hitch!

I usually create to-do items for holiday major tasks: getting decorations down from the attic, hanging lights, tree, other decorating, buying gifts, making cookies, correspondence, etc. Then I use the checkboxes within them for sub-tasks: lights in the kitchen/window/fireplace/etc; set up the artificial tree, light it, hang ornaments; make/bake/decorate various types of cookies (gingerbread, French butter-creams, peanut-butter kiss cookies, etc); ideating gifts for each person, purchasing them, wrapping, & shipping/delivering them; various stages of writing, editing, and sending our Christmas letter. The gifts one gets pretty huge as it’s also where I keep stocking-gift ideas and the list of thank-you gifts for school teachers, church teachers, and extra-curricular instructors.

Fishdye not only gets all their tasks done, they make sure to build in time to enjoy all the  most wonderful things about this time of year!

This year I’ve got 4 things going to help me with holiday organization.

  1. I make a to-do for the annual event I host, Pizza + Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, with a checklist for all the things that need to be done to prepare for it. Same thing with Christmas cards.

2. I use the app “The Christmas List” to keep track of gift ideas prior to the       holidays, and to organize my shopping, since you can sort your list by store!

3. Then I use another to-do for all the things. The checklist for this one includes separate items for ordering & receiving or shopping for/making, and wrapping gifts for each individual or group, decorating gift boxes–anything that needs to be done by Christmas, and even all the family members’ houses we go to on Christmas Day.

    4. I’m excited about this one! This year I’ve also created a to-do called “Necessary Niceties.” Its checklist includes things I always want to do around Christmas, like “watch it snow,” “go for a walk,” and “listen to [Handel’s] Messiah all the way through.” The sort of calm but important things that might get shoved aside for all the gift-giving preparations. And the last item in the checklist says, “Check off anything you didn’t get to, and check off this to-do.” That’s so the “niceties” are actually nice–not burdensome, but opportunities to recharge and live in the moment–to really enjoy the holidays!

You can see more helpful 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.

Also, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, which showcases groups dedicated to Money Matters!

Behind the Scenes: Habitica’s Winter Staff Retreat!

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! Some of you might remember that this summer the Habitica Staff took a trip to the desert for work, bonding, and more than a touch of shenanigans. This winter, with lots of exciting things on the horizon for 2018, we decided to have another retreat. This time we headed for the U.S. East Coast and invited our two designers, Apollo (AKA: Tressley) and piyorii (AKA: Sara)!

Upon arrival, our first item on the agenda was acquiring food!

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Alys (on the right) takes in the uniquely American marvel of a salad composed mainly of red meat, cheese, and onion rings.

Once we arrived at the house we’d rented for the retreat, we launched straight into meetings! Meetings of all types and fashions.

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Beth (AKA: Beffymaroo) shows important graphs to the team. Definitely not cat pictures. This time, anyway. [L to R: Beth, Sabe (AKA: SabreCat), Leslie (AKA: Lemoness), Alys, and Keith (AKA: TheHollidayInn)]
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(From L) Leslie, Sara (AKA: piyorii), Tressley (AKA: Apollo), and Vicky (AKA: redphoenix) have a video conference for user feedback!
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Look how serious we are. Serious at all times. [L to R: Sara, Phillip (AKA: viirus), Vicky, and Beth]
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SERIOUS AT ALL TIMES. Note the big roll of paper, which should convey the seriousness. (Okay, maybe it was covered by Leslie’s sketches by the end, but those were serious too. Very serious cute winter critters and outfit ideas).
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The Big Roll of Paper featured pretty prominently in the meetings. Note the helpful plants.
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The mirrored dining room at the rental house gave us the illusion of our fondest dream: that we all had doubles to help us do our work more efficiently!

We spent a lot of time talking over our plans for the new year (get excited!!) and talking over areas where we want to improve and make things even better for all you Habiticans out there. ❤

But it wasn’t all 100% serious meetings. We found some time to balance out the hard work with fun and team bonding!

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During an important supply run, Beth and Sara found the llama onesies of their dreams.
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They attempted to nonchalantly join the team once they had donned their new workwear, but the fabulousness of the onesies was not to be ignored. Note Sabe’s trademark catlike alertness at the entrance of these strange creatures.
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As you can see, the addition of two would-be llamas to the team only increased our productivity.

We also have some team members who really love to cook, which worked out well for everyone. 🙂

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Vicky’s beloved sourdough starter, Fred, sacrificed part of himself for the purpose of waffle-making. A moment of silence for Fred, please, though some feeding should bring him back to his old self. Also notice Alys opening the waffle iron with her BEAR HAND!

 

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We even had a ramen day! Although Keith’s light-up holiday sweater really distracts from the beauty of the spread Phillip laid out for the team… ;P
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‘Tis the season for distracting novelty sweaters! 😀

And for dessert, a hot chocolate bar!

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What hath Sara wrought?…
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…only the most delicious of abominations.

We also made it a point to take a break from our computer screens and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery near the rental house!

 

 

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All in all we had a great time! We got a lot done, but still found time to enjoy ourselves — in the true spirit of Habitica!

Until next time! 🙂

The Habitica Planner

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Illustration by Vampitch

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!

A new year is on the horizon, and lots of folks are thinking about ways to re-vamp their task management strategies to get 2018 off to the best possible start! Have you ever wondered if there are ways to make Habitica work better as your main or sole task manager? If so, the Wiki Scribes have some awesome tips and tricks just for you.

Read on for some ideas for using Habitica as a comprehensive planner or a central hub for your schedule, projects, and tasks.

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

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!

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.
Quest_burnout
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. 🙂