A tale of uncommon valor – Gamify your habits!

Our hero

Far away he heard the dragon roar. Eerie lights illuminated the dark room. The moon mixing in to the play of gloom and the soft light of the magic candles he had connected to spellcaster to greet him in the morrow. Time to begin a heroes work.
There he was. His steady steed greeting him. The veteran wolf had followed him right from the point the hero emerged from the chaotic world of Procrastia. At first Fluffy was more of a spirit animal. The Dark ages took their toll of our hero. A many scar was left on his panoply as well as his bruised torso. Death was just a stone throw away from the golden gates of our beloved new home Habitica. At times the goblins of the gate were to slow to lift the portcullis and the drawbridge so that Mort would be his ferryman. The goblins took no break to fix the drawbridge with an angular system, so the hero could finally return home and report back from his adventures.

The dragon roared again. It was a beastie of the rare species terror horologium. His steady steed Fluffy at his side he drew his blue sword to put the beastie to silence. He knew he would have to approach this dragon the right way on his first try. The grip around the hilt tightened and the hero charges. He had prepared for this morning, not a single rock is blocking his path. He moves swift and dodges the beasties claws and then there was silence.

Silence; an exaggeration; a blatant exaggeration. The beasties roar had losened a little rock at the top of the mountain of dragons. That rock hit another bigger one that started rolling. The low rumble gave it away: a landslide was approaching our hero. He sheathed his sword and brought Fluffy to heel, it was time to run. For half an hour he ran to escape the rolling black avalanche of granite and he succeded. Dust covered our hero and Fluffy, so it was time to brush it off. While at it, of course our hero used some floss on his teeth, heroes need good teeth and floss will manage to preserve his magnificent ivories.

Refreshed and clean the hero retreated to the study. He worked through the scrolls of ancient wizards. He noted down some words for his own collection of scrolls. He found some errors in his scrolls and edits them now so other wizards of the Ars Geophysica could benefit from his knowledge. But now it was time to practice. Our hero was practicing to master the art to turn lead into gold. The school he was attending to learn the way of the geophysicist would require him to master the art transform these elements so he could eventually be named a Master of Wizardry.

This little story is actually not entirely fictional. This story is my morning schedule. I started writing this tale of uncommon valor to show you my favorite productivity tool.###The tool
HabitRPG is a game about your productivity. You get to play a character in Habitica. This character will gain experience when you complete todos or good Habits and lose health when you do a bad habit or miss tasks you need to complete on a daily basis.

I use this game for two major reasons. Not too long ago I realized that building productive habits is key to reaching my goals. However, flossing is mind-numingly boring. When I imagine myself as a little 8-bit pixel hero who “shines his ivories”, I somehow get a boost of motivation.

###Did it work?
Well I really think it worked out quite well for me. In the past year I have gone from seriously obese to a little overweighed (but happy). I don’t know my starting weight since I stopped weighing but already into the process I was still at 120kg bodyweight. Now I’m down to a figure below 89kg which is even better than my goal weight. All due to healthy habits. I started getting up early in the morning to get a head start and exercise on a daily basis. Every morning I floss my teeth and write for my blog. This creative habit has actually helped me get a blog article into a book! (You can get it on amazon.)

I’ve come a long way and it was a hard struggle. It still is sometimes, but it feels a lot better getting imaginary internet points for getting up in the morning that just getting up for myself. That doesn’t mean I manage to do it every morning, but let me just say that the little hero has survived quite a long time now.

###Join the fight
HabitRPG is free and you can actually contribute to the evergrowing app. It’s open source and has a great community. I for myself add to the HabitRPG wiki, so newbies like you can easily get into the game without too much of a hassle.

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... is a geophysicist by heart. He works at the intersection of machine learning and geoscience. He is the founder of The Way of the Geophysicist and a deep learning enthusiast. Writing mostly about computational geoscience and interesting bits and pieces relevant to post-grad life.

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