Turning Over a New Leaf: Use Case Spotlight

Habiticans_eating_healthy_(By_Aries_Faries).png
Illustration by Aries Faries

It’s a new year in the Gregorian calendar, and that means it’s prime time for making resolutions. This month we asked users in the Use Case Spotlights Guild exactly how they use Habitica to establish new habits and routines, especially for the kind of things that people set as their New Year Resolutions. Without further ado, let’s turn over to what they suggested!

StefanieFreige kicked it off with some wise words (redacted for length, but worth reading in full if you check out the Guild!):

f I want to establish a new habit for myself like “workout” or “get my work done without procrastinating”, I find it helpful to be both playful, precise and flexible.

Flexible: I want to be more organized with like my laundry. So I set a daily. I worked with this for some days – then I realized this does not fit. So I made this a habit – it is less discouraging to rather have a habit checked off 3x/week instead of fail at a daily often.

[…]

precise: be organized with laundry is not exact enough. What is the issue? The place around the machine was a mess. So I found the decluttering devils, had a challenge to organize the space. Each time I walk by, now I ensure that everything goes into the right boxes (no daily needed, that just 1 min).

[…]

playful: I often look at my list and change everything. Different order, headers, combine tasks, make sub-tasks, new/delete tasks – whatever. My life changes, I change (hopefully) – so my habits/dailies/to-dos should. I always look for new approaches to things.

Shewhopaints has some thoughts on their own focus on using Habits, including the suggestion that Habits can become Dailies:

I focus on health and decluttering in my habits section. These habits include trying to avoid using the elevator / lift, using the bus where I could walk and taking vitamins / magnesium. I only a few days ago added “back exercises”. Some habits have transformed into dailies.

Meanwhile, Mavro Asteri is using Habitica’s challenges to get a boost:

I’ve joined a several challenges that I think will help, like the Plank-a-day, vegan challenge, no sugar challenge. I’ve also broken my weight loss goal down into weekly, then monthly goals. Using Habits to remind myself to take a moment & focus, choose the healthier option, etc. Using the Dailies to cultivate healthier eating & exercise & the To Dos for the monthly goal of 11 pounds loss a month. The challenges are really helping me hone my focus & not get off track.

It’s especially worth checking out the Official New Year’s Resolution Guild and the associated Challenges, if you’re into making resolutions and finding ways to stick to them. Habitica’s official New Year’s Resolution Challenge series will run through the whole of 2019, and we hope it will help to guide you and keep you focused!

If you want to check out what other users have said about how they use Habitica to make and keep resolutions, and maybe even have your say, check out the Use Case Spotlights Guild. The theme for next month’s blog post will be announced soon, and if you contribute to the discussion around that, you might be featured next month!

Advertisements

Use Case Spotlight: Professionalization and “Adulting” Skills

Illustration by OuttaMyMind

This month, our Use Case Spotlight focuses on professionalization and “adulting” skills — all those things that we managed to avoid as kids and now unfortunately have to remember on a regular basis, for example, like paying the bills! Fortunately, there are plenty of examples from users on just how to user Habitica to help with that…

First of all, goaskmissalice explains that she views Habitica like a personal assistant:

ALL of my “run my business” tasks are in Habitica and I pretend that my Avatar is my personal assistant, here to remind me about things that are complicated, multi-step or involve deadlines. Sometimes I will drag myself through some tedious task simply because I am about to defeat a bossfight. It reminds me to reorder supplies, warns me when our advertising campaign needs to be renewed and helps me keep track of things that might have otherwise fallen through the cracks. My employees know to take it seriously when I tell them I AM PUTTING THIS ON MY HABITICA.

They better take it seriously! Nobody wants to disappoint Melior, right?

Mavro_Asteri shares how they plan their day on Habitica:

It’s a great tool for teams, but I also use for work: I’ll go through my morning emails, mark actionable items back as “Unread” then make my work To Do list for that day based on those unread emails. As more requests are made during the day, I’ll add to the To Do list. If everything isn’t done in that day, I’ll copy the incomplete tasks to the Next day’s list, then complete the current To Do for the evening.

chikadee talks about how they use Guilds and Challenges for extra motivation, and how they use Habits and To-Dos in managing their time:

I use YNAB (although I’m lapsing) so there is a YNAB challenge in the Financial Discipline guild that I use to remind me to budget regularly and when to do budget check ups. I use todo challenges or the planning challenges in the Planner Addicts guild to remind me about sifting through my work e-mails and such. I also use habits for being on time to appointments and work. Positive habits if I’m on time or 15 mins early and negative if I’m late, really late, or have to cancel something last minute. I kind of use To Dos as a brain dump sometimes for things I need to go shopping for or to do. There’s a deep dark red to do right now to change my headlight!

Finally, Rieye has some thoughts on how to keep things balanced:

Self-care tasks like meditating and singing and drinking water are at the very top of the list so that every time I look at Habitica I see those first.

When everything gets frustrating, I have a “Extra Adulting” habit that I can click to remind myself that it’s not about me, it’s just stuff that has to get done, and at least I get points 🙂

There are other suggestions in the guild that are well worth reading, so don’t forget to check out the Use Case Spotlights Guild. You can even add your own strategies, and if you share something for next topic when we announce it, you could be featured in next month’s post!

And of course, there’s also a Guild Spotlight to help you look for further ideas on how to take care of yourself.

Use Case Spotlight: Sleep and Rest

Illustration by Aries Fairies
Illustration by Hachiseiko

Habiticans! Are you remembering to keep time in your busy busy schedules for a little rest and recuperation? This month’s Use Case Spotlight is all about that and how to make it part of your Habitica set-up. You can’t be productive if you don’t also have adequate rest, so it’s really important that you remember to take care of that side of your life as well.

User nitronova starts us off with their great idea for a customized Habitica experience: their very own sub-class!

Hi, Habitica. I am someone who struggles with doing daily tasks due to depression. I’m in love with stealth games but also enjoy healing myself and others. What I decided to do was employ the use of the Fix Character Values to give myself a sub-class that I call the “Street Doctor!”

[…]

The use case I want to spotlight is the “Shadowstep” power. Sometimes, I have to check into the tavern to recover. This causes me to lose my streak and miss my dailies for yesterday. To help motivate me to take care of those responsibilities when I do recover, I give myself a reward in gold for completing them the next day. It’s themed around darting into the shadows and delivering a stealthy hit to my tasks and I love the imagery as I’m doing things like my weekly laundry. This way, I stay on top of my chores and self-care while thinking of my self-care as an opportunity or a superpower, rather than a cost or a burden. To balance all the additional gold-earning powers I have, I use the Fix Character Values power to make my healing powers more costly in terms of mana or even my own HP. It feels riskier, which makes me more invested in sticking to the game.

Zelah Meyer has a simpler set-up reminding them to get to bed on time (with appropriate punishments and rewards)!

Regarding the ‘Healthy Habits for Sleep and Rest’ – I have a positive/negative habit for whether I was in bed by my target time the previous night. I try to be in bed by 11:30pm if I have to get up early the next day & Midnight if I have a lie-in. I click either the + or the – for whether or not I made it, and add extra clicks for every half hour that I was either early or late to bed!

Shutzie27 has a nice idea for using Habitica as part of their sleep hygiene routine:

So for me, sleep hygiene is its own category under Habits. Part of the routine is “tucking in” my avatar (I switch to a night background and sleepwear, except during the Fall Solstice, when she gets into costume) which signals the end of my screen time for the day, so I actually tick the habits first thing in the morning when I wake up my avatar.

There are other suggestions in the guild, and plenty more opportunities to share your own experiences! Check out the Use Case Spotlights Guild to add your input, and if you share something for the next topic, you might even be featured in next month’s post! There’s also a Guild Spotlight to help you look for further ideas on how to take care of yourself.

Use Case Spotlight: Celebrate Yourself

cultivating_positivity2x
Illustration by Katy133

Greetings, Habiticans! It’s time for another Use Case Spotlight. Last month we were talking about learning/supporting hands-on skills; this month, we’re looking at how people use Habitica to recognise and celebrate their achievements of all kinds!

NatalieOnIce starts us off with something perfectly in the spirit of Habitica:

I have a habit for “do something good”. It counts for all kinds of things – starting a carpool, watching my mother-in-law’s dog, contacting a politician about an issue I think is important. It helps me acknowledge my own actions when I’ve gone above and beyond just the daily life. I can’t expect others to always notice my actions, but I can make an effort to notice and reward myself just a little in game.

While Langerhan talks about how Parties can support each other in doing this!

I’m in a really supportive Party and we post about things we’ve achieved or things we’re working on. It’s really nice to be able to post about finishing a red to-do and get congratulations cards from people.

Ulla Hennig actually uses the Rewards column as a way to recognise progress made:

In order to celebrate myself I put up things in the rewards section which I’d like to have but not necessarily have to have: I am an artist in my free time, and I love to go to shops where I can buy art materials like new paints, pencils, paper and such. So “buy a bottle of acrylic ink” is something I put up. I just added “drink a cup of capuccino” because I enjoy not only the cup but also the atmosphere around it – a small cafeteria around the place where I am working.

There are a couple of other suggestions to check out in the Guild, and there’s still time to discuss it. What do you do to celebrate yourself? Check out the Use Case Spotlights Guild! Even better, if you join that Guild and share your experience once next month’s topic has been announced, you could be featured in next month’s post.

Don’t forget, there’s a Guild Spotlight as well, covering Guilds that can help you celebrate yourself as well!

Use Case Spotlight: Hands-On and Practical Skills

 

ToolsFinal_2x
Illustration by gully

Greetings, Habiticans, and welcome to another Use Case Spotlight. Last month we took a look at getting involved in Habitica’s community, and this month we’re going a little bit further afield to dig into some user-submitted tips on how to use Habitica for learning and practising hands-on and practical skills.

First off, Fishdye has some tips which work for pretty much any kind of project you might want to use Habitica for:

After spending a bit of time in the Hard Mode guild, I’ve started thinking of my to-do’s as fitting into one quadrant or the other of the “Eisenhower Matrix.” (There are links to a couple articles about procrastination in the description of that guild, and they refer to the Eisenhower Matrix, if you want to check it out.) Quadrant 2 is where tasks that are important but not urgent fall. That’s where making progress on hands-on things usually falls for me. Initially, I had Habitica tags for Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4. I found another system that worked better for me there, but I’ve recently resurrected just the Q2 tag. This helps me to isolate just the tasks that seem to fall to the wayside as I crunch through the things that have to be done each day, the “urgent” things. Filtering for Q2 first thing in the morning reminds me what I actually want to be doing with any free time I wind up with in the day, which motivates me to get my must-do’s done more quickly, not spend excessive time at lunch on amusements like phone games, and thereby actually have time for things like scrapbooking, gardening, writing, creating digital art, etc.

flaming.rutebega describes how to clearly define your goals to set effective To-Dos:

One trick I’ve done with Practical Skills is to establish an Achievement Goal as a “To Do.” It sits on my “To Do” list getting redder and redder, so when I finally achieve it, I get a big reward. The trick is to clearly define the goal so you can know when you’ve achieved it. For instance, I want to draw better for my graphic novels. But that isn’t clearly defined, how better is “better.” So I drilled down and nailed something concrete. My goal is called “Master the Head.” Under notes, I explain, “I can draw the same character over and over, in any position: head shape, hair, and facial features remain consistent and recognizable.”

Meanwhile, StephanieFeige has some great tips about how to use Habitica to pick up the skill of gardening!

Well, gardening might someday be “only” a hobby and a chore, but we are new to it – we converted some patch during the past weeks that was unused before. I started off with a smaller patch last year and now try to watch and learn. Examples? There is buddleija in it – and I picked off the web to remove withered flowers so it won’t develop seeds and spread. I cut down lavender so it will have a second bloom (THAT worked great). I put down when to do this with in this case yearly reminders – being new to this, I would forget or confound the different times or methods (e.g. collect seeds or cut seedlings; will fruit be on twigs one year old or two, cut down all or just a bit winter or summer etc.). Knowing that times will vary due to the weather I rather choose early reminders and under “notes” for the dailies noted like (for lavender): “2018: first bloom over at beginning of July, second bloom started 4 days after cutting down” (so the motivation is there for next year). It is supposed to turn out to be some gardening diary until I hopefully know anyway and can go by instinct + experience. VERY long term project. I use gardenings sites and gardening shops and books and pinterest (that’s a daily until I am on safer ground). Giving the time of the year and the hot weather during the past two months in Germany (which was not normal for us), I will have to leave most planting to next year and start with some berries, maybe a small apple tree.

If you have anything to add to these ideas, you should check out the User Case Spotlights guild! We gather ideas for this type of post every month, so maybe next time it could be your tip featured here: keep an eye out for when we announce the new topic!

Don’t forget, the Use Case Spotlight has a companion post, the Guild Spotlight!

Use Case Spotlight: Get Involved in the Habitica Community

Illustration by Aries Faries

Last month’s Use Case Spotlight focused on the theme of Training Your Brain, but this month we’re sticking a little closer to home. Habitica’s community is one of the nicest on the internet (or so we fully believe!), and there are lots of opportunities to join in. Here are some tips from users about how they get connected with other Habiticans and get involved in the community.

First off, PizzaMyHeart brings the warm and fuzzy feelings by acknowledging great times in the Tavern chat, while also mentioning a specific guild which can help you get to know what’s out there:

I love the encouragement I’ve found within the Habitica community. Tavern, guild, party. They’re all filled with great people. For anyone struggling or scared to join I suggest joining the guild challenges. Many encourage you to say hello. I also recommend The Mystery Train. They travel around to the different guilds. It’s a great way to find new interests, friends, and challenges.

Gumnos reminds us all it’s important to take some time out to have fun:

While each person ends up finding their own Habitica communities, I’ve fallen in with the Habitica Court Jesters guild. It’s a great place for both telling and reading family-friendly jokes. Occasionally a member will put forth a themed challenge—dad jokes, knock-knock jokes, elephant jokes, school-themed jokes, music jokes, puns, etc…great for riffing off each other. I’m not sure it benefits my productivity, but it’s a nice way to blow off some steam and get some of the best of medicine that laughter provides.

tseren‘s a little more specific, talking about the contributor community and how to start helping out:

I initially got involved in Habitica’s contributor community as a translator. Translating the website’s text taught me a lot about how Habitica works. Eventually, I found myself in the Tavern and able to help people because of that knowledge. Contributing is all about sharing. You never know where things will lead, especially when you find friends along the way.

Dan O’Dea also has some sage advice about contributing:

If you’re interested in contributing to the community, a good place to start is the Aspiring Legends: Contributing to Habitica guild. Go ahead, click the link! On the Guild page are more links to specific ways to contribute. Find one that interests you and click that, too.

Chat out Habitica on social media, too. The Twitter handle is @Habitica. The blog on WordPress is a good resource as well.

Last but not least, if you feel you aren’t up to “hard” contributions, being a good Habitican citizen is a great way to help. If you see a good answer to a question, let them know! Check out the Tavern chat or the Habitica Help: Ask a Question guild. Check out the wiki and learn how the environment works.

If you have thoughts to add on how to get involved in the Habitica community, feel free to hop in over at the Use Case Spotlights guild (which is another way to get involved through chatting with other players — and your post could even get featured in next month’s Use Case Spotlight)!

Look out for an announcement of the theme for next month’s Use Case Spotlight by Bailey, and in the meantime you might also want to check out the Guild Spotlight on the same theme as this post!

Use Case Spotlight: Parenting and Family Life

parents_families
Illustration by UncommonCriminal

Hello Habiticans! Last month we looked at ideas from your fellow players for using Habitica to manage mental health and wellness. This month we’re exploring ideas for enhancing your parenting strategy with the help of Habitica’s Tasks, Challenges, and social spaces. These great tips come from your fellow players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Stephonee starts us out with a great way to take advantage of the times when you can be productive (and take a break!):

My main use of Habitica for parenting is my “Nap Checklist” Daily. I find that my brain goes kinda haywire when changing gears from “kid-time” to “nap-time ohmigorsh I have time to do things what?” Rather than trying to mentally make that shift and remember what I need to do during every nap, I have the Daily with the checklist!

It includes self-care things (drink a glass of water, hungry? then eat!, tired? then nap!, etc.), mundane have-to-get-done-before-baby-wakes things (clean off the high chair for next feeding), work things (check work email, check blog for new comments) and I can add things to it temporarily if there’s something special I need to get done during the nap on a certain day.

I check the daily off at the end of the nap (or at the end of the day), regardless of whether I got through the whole checklist or not, because it’s not meant to be a “do everything single thing on the list every single day” thing. It’s just a way to reduce the mental load of remembering ALL those things, and a reminder of what they are and in what order they should be considered. Sometimes I’ll check off an item just to say “I considered whether I should do that, and I shouldn’t so… check it off to cross it out!”

Dan O’Dea reminds parents to model the behavior they’d like to see:

If you make this a daily, put a description of the ONE behavior you want to model (if you have more than one, make separate dailies for each). I’ve deliberately left this unspecified as you will have your own ideas on what behavior you want your kids to demonstrate. A simple example: washing dishes right after supper is done. I hate it when dishes accumulate over several days, and I want my kids to help with that chore if they’re old enough. When they were too young to wash effectively, I made them dry and put away the dishes as I washed them. When they were old enough (and tall enough to reach!) I made them wash while I dried. Then I made them both do it without me and gave them a “schedule” (that is, they alternated washing and drying from day to day). Note: obviously, this does not have to be every day. They’re kids, it’s OK to give them weekends off .

If you make this a habit, put a plus and minus on it. This will be more general (i.e., not a specific behavior, just “a behavior”) and works equally well as a plan for you to create better behaviors (or more consistently doing the task) and for them. Check the plus if you did model the desired behavior(s) and check the minus if you didn’t. In a way, this is like the proverbial “quarter in the swear jar”.

sagestacy notes the importance of maintaining your relationship with your partner when parenting can seem all-consuming:

Habitica and the Parents’ Guild have been helpful for me to maintain my relationship with my husband after the birth of our child. Taking care of an infant is exhausting for both of us–physically, mentally, and emotionally–and so having those dailies and habits to check off reminds me to do little things to preserve our connection, like holding hands, talking about our day, and scheduling a date night.

peach pip gives us great tips for remembering to keep taking care of ourselves even as we devote ourselves to the care of others!

With the birth of my daughter, I transitioned into a new role of a full time mom. I found it much more difficult than employment, particularly because infants don’t provide a lot of positive feedback at first, and tasks that used to be simple had become really challenging, such as eating a decent meal or showering. Additionally, it was much more difficult to stay in touch with loved ones. Habitica helped me celebrate little accomplishments and remember my self-care, as well as stay in touch with loved ones by creating a party together!

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, be sure to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, where we’ve highlighted groups that can provide further support and motivation as you manage parenting and family life!

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!

Use Case Spotlight: Making a Difference!

cultivating_positivity2x
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!

Use Case Spotlight: Spring Cleaning

sweeping_by_leephon_2x
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!