Fetch Quests

One of the most lamented mission types in many video games is the “fetch quest,” where the player character is sent out to fetch items and bring them back to the quest giver. These items might be materials collected from a dangerous animal, rare minerals, unique gear, or cheeseburgers, among countless other permutations. Given how often said player character is the only one standing between the game world and apocalypse, though, the mundanity of most such quests aggravate players to no end. We wonder why the non-player characters can’t go fetch the items themselves or find someone less busy to handle the droll task. And yet we allow so many fetch quests into our real lives.

Such “quests” are everywhere. Whether in our inboxes, our todo trackers, our errand lists, our work queues, or the like, our “quest givers” expect us to drop everything and devote valuable time to tasks that often prove trivial or extraneous, especially in the bigger picture. With our calendars packed with such quests, it’s no wonder that we spend so little time advancing the “main quest” of our lives.

Which incoming quests can you decline, though? Which extant ones can you cancel? Which quest-givers can you eject from your feeds or otherwise constrain? Who in your life offers quests worth the effort? What kind of quests are you assigning to yourself? Which one quest would advance you to the next chapter of your life? What’s stopping you from doing that quest first?