Let me start by admitting something, I’m a procrastinator. If I can postpone things I tend to do it. Then, when that deadline comes creeping up I have no choice but to lose sleep to catch up with work I’m behind on. And it’s not new. I was one of those kids that you saw in school with a book, 5 minutes before a test. Not because I wanted to go over things again but because I still hadn’t covered it all yet. And yes, I know. After all those years you’d think that I’d learn that it probably isn’t the best way to do things. But alas, it seems it’s just ingrained.
These days my favorite way to procrastinate is by playing online games. I have no idea why but I tend to be especially attracted to long running games like Tribal Wars, Elvenar, Dragons of Atlantis and anything like that. Games that take up quite a bit of time but that you can’t really win anyway (most of the time). But building cities and fighting other players is apparently much more rewarding to my brain than finishing the things that are on my To Do list.
Luckily, it seems like I may have found a way out a couple of months agao. These days I’m playing games to stop myself from procrastinating! How? Enter Habitica. Here is how Habitica describes itself:
Habitica is a game to help you improve real life habits. It “gamifies” your life by turning all your tasks (Habits, Dailies, and To-Dos) into little monsters you have to conquer. The better you are at this, the more you progress in the game.
And they forgot to add something as well. The worse you are, the more you lose. Health points, gained accessories… they all disappear if you don’t keep up with your daily tasks.
And there is one thing that I dislike even more than doing things right now… losing! I like to win. Blame nature or blame nurture but I’m competitive and I don’t like to lose. Not at all. So even losing a few health points will annoy me.
This means that by just using this simple RPG for my To Do”s (and breaking those up into daily tasks) I actually get stuff done. I make sure to get my tasks out of the way for one simple reason, to not lose points.
At the same time I’m gaining points and winning gold that I can use to buy accessories for my character. Sure, they’re pretty much useless (at least in real life) but they offer motivation for me to keep going.
And nowadays there is another great advantage. I get to play a game and it doesn’t even require me to walk around town like an idiot, staring at my screen, hoping to find an augmented reality creature to catch (although for those addicted, you could make that a task as a well 😀 ).
Sure, it confirms that I’m a geek. One that likes RPGs at that. But I can live with that. I’ve been that geek when I was growing up and I am still the same geek today. But now at least it’s finally paying off. It’s helping me get things done.
So if you’re a procrastinator that likes playing games as well, check it out. Maybe it can help you as well.