Habitica and FocusMe Partnership!

Our very own staff member Sabe has written us a post explaining how he uses Habitica together with an awesome productivity tool called FocusMe. Because we are big fans of FocusMe (and their staff members are big fans of Habitica), we’ve decided to offer a joint promotion until Sunday June 19th, where anyone who purchases FocusMe will also be offered a 20% discount on a six-month Habitica subscription. Read on to learn about Sabe’s epic productivity strategy!


Anyone who’s tried to form a new good habit from scratch, or abruptly halt a bad one, knows that the task gets difficult before long. The first day or two, maybe even the first week, sees success on a wave of enthusiasm. But the initial rush wears off with time, and motivation doesn’t come quite so easily.

To mitigate the risk of failure as habit formation gets harder, experts in personal change like The Heath Brothers and Leo Babauta recommend smoothing the way: setting up your environment such that the right thing to do is also the easy thing to do. Set up incentives to follow through on your habit, and barriers to backsliding.

Residents of Habitica know all about incentives for following through! Success in habit change means leveling up, earning Gold for equipment, or picking up a cute new pet. On the flip side, losing Health to negative Habits or unfinished Dailies adds some sting to temptations that can lead us away from our goals.

Sometimes, though, even that’s not enough, and we need a little extra help in making the right choice easy.

For most of my adult life, I’ve struggled with a particular bad habit: digital distractions. Games, endless news feeds, and social media conversations all clamor for attention, draining away minutes and hours of productive time when indulged. These activities capture mental focus by design, making it particularly difficult to break free, even with the threat of injuring my Habitica avatar for giving in.

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Destroy distractions!

Enter FocusMe, a tool for Windows and Mac that lets me put up a digital wall between me and the things that might get in the way of my work! With it, I can say, “from the time I wake up until the end of the work day, don’t allow me to launch these distracting applications or visit these distracting Web sites.” If I stray, by accident or moment of weakness, I get a simple notification that the distraction is on my block list, and it closes or minimizes until such time as it’s appropriate for me to return to it.

By combining use of Habitica and FocusMe, I have a powerful set of tools to keep me on task! Some ways to synergize the two include:

  • A positive Habit to reward myself for adding to my block list. If a new distraction emerges, I can collect some Gold and Experience for putting it away for this and future work days.
  • Talking with others who struggle with similar problems in the Digital Addicts Anonymous guild, to stay accountable and share tips for using Focus Me effectively.
  • Using temporary unlocks in FocusMe as custom rewards. If I pick up some Gold by staying on task and accomplishing some Dailies and To-Dos, I can purchase a few minutes of time for Focus Me to let me through and check a social media feed or forum.

If you also struggle with digital distractions, I encourage you to give FocusMe a look!

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Small Improvements Add Up: June Challenge Spotlight!

Hello Habiticans! Welcome back to the monthly Challenge Spotlight feature, featuring challenges created and submitted by you, the community! Join them for extra motivation, and compete with other users to win gems as you strive to meet your goals.

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In The Tavern: June 15k Writing Challenge

Starts on: June 1
Ends on: June 30
Prize: 5 Gems
Repeating challenge? No

Cheers says:

Join writers across Habitica for a 15k word sprint in June! At 500 words a day you’ll form a solid writing habit to jump start that novel, essay, or short story you’ve been thinking about. Let’s write!

Also in the Tavern: Note the Positives – June

Starts on: June 1st
Ends on: June 30
Prize: 3 Gems
Repeating challenge? No

Freelancecynic says:

All of us suffer from low self esteem every now and then. Even the president. (probably). So to help I’ve set up a challenge for the month of June. All people need to do is write down 3 positive things about themselves everyday.

Try it, and see how great you feel by the end of the month.

In the Busy Learners guild: Learn Every Day!

Starts on: May 19
Ends on: June 18
Prize: 1 Gem
Repeating challenge? Yes

Accio Books! presents: A 30 day challenge to learn something new and share it with the world!

Got a challenge you’d like to share with us and the rest of the Habitica community? Submit it here at the Challenge Spotlight Submission Form. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Simplify Your Digital Life: May Challenge Spotlight!

Hello Habiticans! We’re excited to bring you a new and revamped Challenge Spotlight feature, featuring challenges created and submitted by you, the community! Join them for extra motivation, and compete with other users to win gems as you strive to meet your goals.

In The Basics Guild: The Monthly K.I.S.S.

Starts on: May 1
Ends on: May 31
Repeating challenge? Yes

ArynChris describes this challenge as “Helping fellow Habiticans to shrink their tasklists from overwhelming to manageable, permanently.

In the Life Hackers Guild: Limit Screen/TV Time

Starts on: Launched now, but starts on June 1st
Ends on: June 30
Repeating challenge? Yes

Janelle Rowe says:

Stop letting screens suck your time away! Choose an amount of time to have screen time (iphone, ipad, or other device) or TV time (can include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc). For example max time of 1 hour, 45min, or 30min per day.

And last but NEVER least, in the Short Term Accountability Guild: Inbox Inspiration!

Starts on: May 11
Ends on: May 20
Repeating challenge? Yes

BeanieB says:

Feel like you spend all day responding to emails? Getting overwhelmed with the emails you need to write? Inbox overflowing? Use this challenge to get your inbox under control!

Got a challenge you’d like to share with us and the rest of the Habitica community? Submit it here at the Challenge Spotlight Submission Form. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Sticking to Your Resolutions, Part II: Tidy Up Last Year

This is the second in a four part series! If you missed Part I, read it here: Setting the Stage for Success

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Longtime users (or Habiticans who’ve been vacationing in far-off internets) might find their dashboard filled with tasks that are no longer relevant or interesting. If you can take the time to clean up a bit, it’ll give this year’s resolutions extra room to stand out!

Here’s a suggested framework for going through your existing setup:

Start with your Dailies: Is each task something you’re still actively working on? If you consistently accomplish the Daily, you might not need the reminder anymore. Consider removing it! Remember, it can always go back on the list if you start slipping.

If a Daily has been neglected, is it because it wasn’t a high priority during the holidays, or is it something that you had hoped to accomplish more regularly and it didn’t quite stick? If the latter, consider turning it into a Habit or deleting it altogether. If you’re not ready to do either, try moving it to a someday/maybe list, either in a checklist item within Habitica or in a separate document that gets reviewed regularly.

Next, reassess your Habits. Should they be upgraded to Dailies, further tweaked for effectiveness, or removed from the list entirely?

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Finally, review all your To-Dos. Have any of the tasks listed stopped being relevant, like “acquire a new dragon egg incubator” when the eggs have already hatched (and turned out to be manticores besides)? Should tasks that don’t need to be worked on *right now* be moved to your someday/maybe list or deleted? Or maybe you want to keep the To-Do, but should break it up into more actionable chunks so that it’s easier to tackle.

Remember to take breaks when necessary! This is a big and important project, and if you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, it’s helpful to take a step back so that you can re-calibrate and approach your setup with fresh eyes.

 

Want to read more? On to Part III, or check out Part I and Part IV!

Sticking to your Resolutions, Part I: Setting the Stage for Success

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We’re now two weeks into the new year! How are we all doing on our New Year’s Resolutions?

Now that the excitement of the holidays has died down a bit, it’s time to go sailing on the Plains of Productivity and establish the routines to make this year really awesome. You already have your goals–it’s time to figure out the nitty-gritty of achieving them.

This guide is intended for those who are already familiar with Habitica’s Habits, Dailies, To-Dos, and Challenge system. There will be four parts in total, so be sure to check them all out!

If you’re brand new to Habitica, welcome! You may want to take a look at the Getting Started section on the Wiki home page: http://habitica.wikia.com/wiki/Getting_Started

Record your resolutions

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It’s hard to remember everything that’s on your plate, and resolutions are no different! Writing them down and reviewing them regularly is a great way to make sure they remain a priority, so make this the year that you stick to your resolutions and enter them on your tasks page.

By listing your resolutions in the same place as your other tasks, they’re integrated with all the other things you have to do. This keeps them front and center as you figure out the specific routine of making progress on each goal. Suggested reading: Establishing Your Tasks and The Habit Loop. Extra Credit: Gamifying Your Lists.

Also, if you don’t already use tags, it’s a good time to start by tagging all tasks associated with your New Year’s Resolutions with “NY Resolutions” or if you’re really short on space, an emoji like :tada:. Pro Tip: did you know that if you select a tag and THEN type in the task, the task will be automatically tagged with the selected tag? It works on both web and mobile!

Lastly, if you feel like you need the extra accountability to keep up with the resolutions, you can always create a challenge within your party or a supportive guild so that other people can see how you’re doing.

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For more in this series, here’s Part IIPart III, and Part IV.

 

 

Adventures in Habitica: October Challenge Spotlight!

Every month, we feature a few user-created Challenges! Join them for extra motivation, and compete with other users to win gems as you strive to meet your goals.

We’re nearing the end of the Fall Festival! There are a few days remaining to enjoy the following themed challenges:

Conquer your Deepest Darkest Red To Dos & attack the Burnout Boss” by kawunngg
Ends: When Burnout has been conquered
Prize: 1 gem
Goal: Motivate yourself to work on some of those dark red tasks

Add some extra incentive to strike some really old tasks off your to do list, and do extra damage to Burnout, who is still terrorizing the Tavern!

Clean the Dungeon: Fright Fight” by Sulfirh
Ends: October 31st
Prize: 5 gems
Goal: Extra incentive to complete all your dailies

Need an extra nudge (or maybe a little bit more XP and MP) to finish out ALL your dailies? Sulfirh’s challenge is a great way to add some extra oomph to the usual Perfect Day benefits.

Habitica Costume Challenge” by Lemoness
Ends: October 31st
Prize: The 2015 Costume Contest badge!
Goal: Put on some real world finery and show off your love of Habitica!

Habitoween comes but once a year, and in a few days, submissions will close for the Costume Contest! So pull on your best fancy pants (or shirt or dress or other garment) and snap a photo–we’re really looking forward to seeing your creativity and your real-life pets….

Studying, Self-Discipline, and More: September Challenge Spotlight!

Every month, we will be featuring a few user-created Challenges! Join them for extra motivation, and compete with other users to win gems as you strive to meet your goals.  

Happy September!

September Studying Challenge” by shanaqui

Ends: September 20th

Prize: 5 gems

Goal: Stay on track with studying and learning goals during September!

This Challenge only runs for  a short period of time, so it’s great if you want a focused experience. The tasks help you set daily priorities and identify weak spots in your learning. Plus, it’s flexible enough to fit many different types of studying!

Achieve, Accomplish, Aspire (September)” by keyes

Ends: October 1st

Prize: 2 gems

Goal: Celebrate your successes and share what you hope to achieve next

This Challenge and its related Guild add a new twist to setting goals. As you list your priorities, you also reflect on your accomplishments. Striving for achievement can be discouraging, so it’s nice to celebrate yourself, too. You deserve it!

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Fall 2015 School Habit Challenge ” by White Rose Duelist

Ends: December

Prize: 3 gems

Goal: Study diligently all semester

Similar to the September Studying Challenge, this is designed for students – but it lasts all semester long, and has more specific milestones. Don’t forget that you can add checklists to each of the To-dos to break them down into easy steps!

Self Discipline 2.0” by Elo

Ends: N/A

Prize: 1 gem

Goal: Motivate yourself to do things that you don’t want to do

This is a great Challenge for those of us who find that our motivation is still stuck on vacation. The tasks focus on doing those necessary things that are unpleasant, annoying, or just plain boring. Once you finish, there’s a custom reward for taking a well-deserved break!

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Back to School Advice Challenge” by Lemoness 

Ends: September 27th

Prize: 30 gems each for all 10 winners

Goal: post your best back-to-school Habitica tips on social media

Last but not least, it would be silly not to mention the Official Back to School Advice Challenge.  Since it’s run by the Habitica Staff Team, there’s a much higher gem prize than usual. Competition is stiff, but there’s only one To-Do, so it’s pretty easy to enter. Plus, the random draw means that you have a chance at winning even if you don’t have a million followers. It’s definitely worth checking out!