UFYH and Habitica

I don’t remember how exactly I found the page, but I am really liking UFYH so far. It’s on tumblr. For those of you who don’t like certain types of words, let’s pretend for now that it stands for “Un-Fail Your Habitat”. That, hopefully, preserves the internetly-informality of the original. It’s purpose is to help motivate to do things that need to be done. It primarily focuses on cleaning, but can apply to other areas as well. The most basic premise, is that no one and no environment is beyond help. Everything can be improved. You don’t have to fix everything all at once, but if you can do a little bit of fixing every day, it will continue to get better. Even if you mess up sometimes, just keep working on it and it will get better. The site does make somewhat-frequent use of profanities, “as the kids do these days”, so those of you who don’t like reading certain words probably don’t want to use this specific site. But if that’s not a problem for you, and you have trouble getting started on things, or maintaining focus on things, this site might help you. For those who want it, the full link to the site will be under the “more” tag, so that those who don’t like seeing certain words can more easily avoid it. But I haven’t figured out how to hide it when on the post view instead of the main page. It looks like I would need either a plugin or a theme or learn some css to do so. I’m adding that to my list now, but that doesn’t fix this post (yet). So if you’re already on the post page, skip the last paragraph if you don’t want to see it.

I notice an interesting similarity between how it says to break up the work into small pieces with frequent breaks, and the “little and often” idea prevalent in all of the Mark Forster systems. What this site adds to that, is its insistence that no one is beyond help. That just because yesterday didn’t go as I wanted it to, that doesn’t make today hopeless. At least in certain moods, that’s a very important thing to remember. The word choice in the site (at least with the tone in which the words are used), to me adds a level of informality and relaxedness that also helps.

UFYH also has an Android app, which I mostly like so far. It does cost about a dollar, so if you only use free apps, you probably don’t want it, but I had some credits saved up from the google survey thingy. The app has, among other things, a timer preset for the “20/10″s (twenty minutes working, followed by ten minute break), a “Random Motivation” function, and a to-do list. I thought at first I’d get a lot of mileage out of the to-do list, having it so close to the motivator and timer, but recurring things don’t show any indication of having been done when you check them off. This is mentioned in one of the first few reviews on its page in Google Play, but I didn’t realize how big of a deal that would be until I tried it myself.

I still very much like the website. I followed it on Tumblr. And the app itself isn’t a whole waste of a dollar either; the motivator and the timer and the random challenge so far seem like they will still be useful to me. But it left me wondering what to do for a to-do list. There are so very many to-do list apps everywhere and even picking one sounds itself like a project.

But I noticed in Google Play some recommended apps, that seemed to follow this “gamification” idea that seems to have become popular when I wasn’t looking. It sounds like such a buzzword, worthy of the pointiest of PHBs, but the idea itself seems to have a lot of merit (as long as the buzzwordiness doesn’t get out of hand). So, when I did a basic google search for to-do apps, and one of the earlier articles mentioned Habitica, its name had already some small glimmer of familiarity, from having seen it in the suggestion list next to the other app I had.

Basically the idea is, one of the reasons people like games, is getting rewards for doing stuff. So this application takes real life, and makes it into an RPG. You add tasks to your list, either as one-off things, recurring things, or things you just want to do generally more or less often, and then when you do (or not do, for “bad” things) them you get XP and gold. When you don’t do (or do, for “bad” things) them, you lose HP. If you lose all your hit points you lose a level. If you get enough XP (experience points), you get a new level. Gold is used to buy equipment. There also exist gems, which can be purchased for real money, but the things bought with gems are strictly cosmetic, and there are in-game ways to earn them too. At a certain level, you get to choose a class (Warrior, Mage, Healer, or Rogue) which will give you access to skills. Skills are even more useful in quests. In order to do quests, you have to join a party (but if you really don’t want to interact with other people, you can have a party with only one person in it). Basically, the whole group progresses in the quest when anyone in the group does things they set out to do, but also the whole group has penalties any time anyone in the group fails to meet the expectations they created for themselves. In this way, you and your friends can help keep each other motivated and accountable to work towards goals. And, if you get sick or go on vacation or for some other reason have a good reason for not doing your usual things, you can Rest at the Inn. While resting in the inn, you don’t take any damage for missing your tasks, and if you are in a quest your party members don’t take damage for your missed tasks. (But you do still take damage for your party members’ tasks if they are not also resting, so you will at least want to check on your character in case you need a health potion.)

I like Habitica so far, but it’s definitely far too early to tell for sure how much of an effect it will have on me working towards my goals. But it sounds like it fits in a gap I feel like I have, to help me remember and motivate myself to actually do the things I’m wanting to do.

I didn’t accomplish very much today, but I feel like part of it was vaguely useful. I plan for the next bit of the evening to play some Shadow of Mordor. Though probably (hopefully) not very long, since I don’t want to get my sleep schedule off too far.

Here comes the more tag, before I go, but if you’re already on the page for the post itself it doesn’t make you click to see after it. Remember, if you don’t like to read profanities, you probably want to stop reading before the next paragraph starts.

For those of you not bothered by certain words, the full name and link for UFYH is “Unfuck Your Habitat”. The site makes frequent use of the word “fuck”. I think I’ve also seen some instances of “sucks” so far. If you don’t like those words you probably won’t like the site. But if the words don’t bother you, click, bookmark, and/or follow to your heart’s content.

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