life Organization

Habits vs Tasks: I Want an App For That

A man or woman on a leash
Credit: Flickr / Daniel Kulinski

I have this list of “habits” that I need to make time for, on a daily or weekly basis.

For example:

  • Get some exercise, every day.
  • Read a book, every week,
  • Weight train 2x a week.
  • Do something for just for me, every day.
  • Connect with a friend, every day.
  • Do something outside (a long walk, skiing), every week.
  • Do something cultural, every week.

I think these things make me happier, but I have no way to know because I don’t track them in conjunction with my mood. Really, what I want is an app that will allow me to separate my “todo list” from my “habits for a happy life” list, track them, and measure my mood (and ideally import data from my activity trackers about my movements).

The difference between a habit list and a todo list, is that there is no making up. No exercise today? Let it go, try again tomorrow. I can’t make it up. In fact I think trying to do so, is harmful – “I’ve had no life for the last six months because work so I’m going to cram it all in to my 10 day vacation”, is an example.

I like the idea of a separate place for habits, rather than tasks. Maybe because tasks are done and forgotten, but habits are built over time? Tasks define our days, but our habits define our lives? I think of this as a place for my list, when a task list is often full of things forced upon my by other people, or by society (note to self: sort out drivers license, bank account).

Maybe I will build this after other personal projects are finished, or abandoned.

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