Like many students, I really struggle with time management. Between holding down a job or two, paying bills, trying to find a clean fork, working my way through piles of readings and assignments, and attempting to have a healthy body and healthy relationships, things can get stressful.
My outlook on planning fluctuates between doing it tomorrow, and doing it at the last second.
Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t work.
Making lists and keeping an assignment calendar has helped to keep the tide at bay, but when I found out about HabitRPG, an online and mobile app which claims to help you achieve goals through a retro-RPG style game, I was intrigued.
Could time management be fun? Could this be the answer to my long-standing procrastination problem?
Launched in 2013, the game attempts to incentivize daily task by turning them into a game. You set habits to form, define daily tasks needed to form you habit and get to work. If you perform your tasks, you are rewarded with experience points and coins. If you don’t, your character loses health points.
I set my habit—completing school work ahead of time—and daily tasks. I made a to-do list of extra work which would reward me and help to achieve my goals. Then, I set my rewards. For 20 gold, I could watch a movie and snuggle, and for 10 gold, I would get a Tumblr session.
Did HabitRPG help? I would say no.
After completing one of my homework assignments, I found myself unconsciously logging in to Tumblr. I had only received about two gold for my task—not the 10 I needed to indulge in a reblog orgy. I ended up completing the rest of my assignments for that night, and went on Tumblr anyway. I know. I am a terrible human being.
While I did accomplish more on one day, I quickly bored of the app and stopped updating it. For completing the cleaning chores I assigned myself, I received eight HP, one gold, and 31 silver coins. Other than the satisfaction of removing this from my list, I didn’t feel too excited.
HabitRPG didn’t make time management any more fun than it already was, but actually gave me one other thing to worry about in a day. It didn’t offer enough excitement, or enough difference, compared to my usual lists and planners. It felt more like an irritating Tatamagouche that demanded attention for little pay back, and it lacked any of the character focus and adventure you’d expect from an RPG. I’ll stick to the usual channels and reward myself with some Zelda time when I feel the need.