It looks like most people are into at least some content outside of beauty, so that's cool. There won't be a ton, but it's nice to know that when something occurs to me (like today), it will be welcome.
I thought I would write about a tool that's been helping me keep on top of things lately. As I get older and busier, I get way worse at remembering to do all of the things I'm supposed to do. I'm also not good at motivating myself, and a decade-plus in grad school did nothing to improve my self-discipline. I recently read this article from The Atlantic on procrastination, which notes:
"Across several categories including dieting, saving money, and sending important emails, we constantly choose short and small rewards (whose benefits are dubious, but immediate) over longer and larger payouts (whose benefits are obvious, but distant)."That really explained to me why using Habitica (formerly HabitRPG), a site that a friend introduced me to, has helped me so much to get organized. I am more motivated by a trivial, instant reward (like a few pixels in the shape of a sword) than more important, distant ones (like career success). Seems sad, but it's apparently true, nonetheless.
As the previous name of the site/app/program suggests, Habitica allows you to set up your life as though it were an RPG where you get rewards, gain skills, and level up for completing real life tasks and improving your habits. It sounds pretty silly, but it's been helpful - and I say this as someone who was extremely skeptical when I started to use it. I've known for a long time that if I don't put something I have to do on a list and then check that list, it just fucking won't get done. And that includes everything from submitting job application to answering emails to paying bills or even flossing. This way I check off my lists and I get little bonuses for doing so.
In Habitica, you have three main lists: Habits, Dailies, and To-Dos. Habits are things that you generally want to do more or less often. Dailies are things you have to do at a specific time during the week, and that repeat. You could put your regular work schedule on there, for example, if there are tasks you have to do on certain days or at certain times. And the To-Dos list is made up of one-off tasks that you need a reminder to finish. That's pretty self-explanatory. You collect coins and other prizes (like pets - see my little red fox?) when you check things off your lists, and you can redeem the coins for rewards. The rewards can be either essentially meaningless virtual rewards like new equipment for your avatar, or real life rewards that you define for yourself. Maybe once you collect enough coins, you are allowed to buy a nail polish or get a massage or marathon Orphan Black. Treat Yo Self. Personally, because I have been trying to save money and most of the real life rewards I would have chosen cost something, I've just been going with the RPG based ones, and weirdly enough, they have provided sufficient motivation. I find myself wanting a new pixillated vest for my character, for some reason.
There are lots of other features, and you can even organize group quests if you have some kind of collaborative activity that needs motivation, but you can read about all that on the site. I mainly use Habitica in my web browser, but there is an app available as well.
I still have a long way to go to be as organized and motivated as I'd like to be, but using Habitica has been a major step in the right direction. I've never played an actual RPG in my life and I don't even play Facebook games. In fact, I'm not a big fan of games in general. But this works for me for whatever reason. It's worth a shot if you are anything like me. Best part: it's free!
Now I can check blogging off my Dailies list. And I should go take my vitamins.