A question has been driving us mad for the past decades. I reckon it is an ageless question, but recently has been put on steroids in the contemporary world–a world far more complex and fast paced then it used to be. A world strange to our biological nature, for our original chemistry of motivation serves us less than it used to. So what is this question that presses us more recently?
How do I be more productive?
Countless systems, theories, philosophies, devices have been invented to address this question–things such as 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Franklin Covey planners, Palm Pilots, GTD (Get Things Done), motivational seminars, smart features on devices that give reminders based on things like gps coordinates and time of day, and various mobile apps that approach the productivity question from different angles.
Whatever mechanisms we come up with, they seem to all fail us the same way. We can organize and structure our tasks and schedules in all manner of different ways until we’re blue in the face, but the bottom line is still whether or not we possess the motivation to do the things we know we should be doing.
This is something that Steven R. Covey has understood back in 1989 when he published his famous 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; the first habit is to be proactive. This is first, because everything we do after this fails if we don’t have this first principle down.
But here’s the thing. The natural man is not a proactive creature, but rather a lazy, slobbering vegetable that likes to snarl down potato chips. Fun and boring carries more weight to the natural man than important and unimportant. Is there a system that addresses this issue?
Enter HabitRPG–Gamify your life!
This is an online application that treats the productivity question like an RPG game. You earn gold coins to purchase rewards that you’ve established, and experience points to level up in the classic RPG style. You lose life as a penalty for things you fail to do or bad habits that you relapse into. As you level up, you unlock features. When I stumbled upon HabitRPG, I was ecstatic to find a system that addresses the motivation question head on.
I have seen other approaches such as social network in which others in the network give you points that you can spend on commercial goods. But I like the idea behind HabitRPG better. This is what I’m now using to manage myself. 3rd party mobile apps exist for HabitRPG, but they are works in progress, currently lacking features. Still, I’ve installed one on my phone and tablet, because it can still be useful on the go to refer to my tasks, dailies, and habits.
May we henceforth slay ye dragons of ye conquest of life! Yea, verily, yea.