How can we make productive use of our time at home?

I am sure I am not the only person who has a perpetual 'to-do list' of things I would like to do that I never seem to get around to doing! Many of the things that are on my list are things that I genuinely want to do, things I even feel excited about doing, yet I still rarely or never get around to doing them. Why don't I do these things? Well, there are many reasons. Sometimes I am genuinely just too busy, and I don't have time to work on my to-do list. Other times there are more important things that need to get done first. I also have a bad habit of procrastinating, so this means urgent or important tasks often take much longer than necessary. However, more often than not, not having enough time is not the reason why I do so little of the things I need to or want to do.

I think one of the main reasons I am so unproductive is poor time management skills. This is a long-term problem for me, and I have tried many different things to help me manage my time better. For example, I have tried writing many different types and forms of to-do lists (including ones with nice colours and stickers to make them more fun). I borrowed a book about time management, but I never got around to reading it. For the last year or so I have been using a calendar app on my phone which has definitely been helpful. While I still need to continue to improve my time management skills, I have made some significant progress in the last year or so, thanks largely to an app called Habitica. Let me introduce this app to you:

Habitica is a free app that is designed to look like a retro video game but functions to help people organise their lives. There are 3 main sections: Habits, Dailies and To Dos.  In the Habits section, users can write a list of things they want to do more or less of, for example, replying to emails within a day, exercising, and so on. In the Dailies sections, users can write a list of things they want to do every day, for example, stretching, jogging, and so on.  In the To-Do list section, users can write one-off tasks. Unlike the Habits and Dailies sections, once a task is ticked off in the To-Do list section, it disappears from the list.

The Habitica app is not actually a game, but it mimics a game in several ways. For example,  like in a video game, each user has a health bar, experience bar and a mana bar (mana enables the user to use special skills). Users can also gain gold and gems. When a user clicks on a habit, daily or a to-do list task to say they have done it, they will gain a mix of experience points, mana or gold. However, if they click to say they did a negative habit or don't tick off a daily task, they will lose health points. Each user has an avatar and, as they gain gold, they can buy different clothes, weapons and hairstyles to personalize their avatars. It is also possible to participate in quests by forming a 'party' with other friends using Habitica. In these quests you either fight against a boss or collect items by completing your real-life tasks. For example, ticking off lots of dailies, to dos or habits would do a lot of damage to the boss your party is fighting against.  Finishing quests can enable your party to gain cute pets for their avatars and many other cool things. It is in these kinds of ways that the Habitica app serves to turn doing tasks into a game.  It is by far the best to-do list I have ever used!

I highly recommend this app to anyone who is struggling to be productive!


perpetual (adjective) – never ending or changing
genuinely (adverb) – truthfully; sincerely; really; actually
procrastinate (verb) – to put off or delay doing something, especially something requiring immediate attention
get around to (doing something) (phrase) – to do something that you have intended to do for a long time
one-off (adjective) – done, made, or happening only once