Today I wanted to introduce you to a productivity tool that I’ve become a little bit addicted to:
It’s an online/computer plugin program (honestly, I don’t really understand the tech side) that you can set up to track where you’re spending your time on the computer.
I love it.
See the introductory tour for individual knowledge workers.
(note: I’m using the free version. I’m not an affiliate and I don’t get anything out of it if you sign up. I just love it).
Here’s a screenshot of my work last week:
Blue = productive; red = distracting; purple = neutral
Just at a glance you can see I got A LOT done on Sunday (12/30) while Wednesday I was hardly on the computer at all.
Setting the categories … RescueTime doesn’t know what the heck LemonandRaspberry.com is so just left it as Uncategorized with a neutral productivity. Obviously I know better. I am only on L&R if I’m working, so I set it for the WRITING category, and ‘very productive’ and now can track my work
Setting the productivity …. RescueTime doesn’t know that I ONLY go on Flickr and Smugmug to back up my photos. Which I think should count as productive – instead of ‘very distracting’ as RescueTime thinks. And really, if I went on Flickr as a social media site it would be distracting. But I don’t. So I go in there and change the productivity designation to ‘productive’ and at least get credit for backing up my photos.
Pause if necessary …. If I’m going to spend 1 hour watching Downton Abbey on PBS.org (we don’t have TV), I am giving myself permission to take a break from computer work. But I have to tell RescueTime. I can *pause* the tracking so I don’t get a big spike of “distracting” in my reports. Love it.
Slightly annoying but only slightly:
Occasionally I will do research for a blog post, and whatever site I am doing that research may not be giving me credit for being productive. Ex: I wrote a guest post for The Nerd Nest and needed to find some YouTube links to back up my points. Obviously YouTube is generally very distracting – but for that hour or so I was using it it was productive. Also, using Amazon is *sometimes* productive – like when I’m looking up affiliate links for Project Life posts. But, then I remember that I get distracted by Instagram on my phone that doesn’t get tracked by RescueTime so I figure evens out.
It’s an extremely effective to for me to use.
Mostly because I like to compete against myself.
Which makes me sound like a crazy person, I know.
But when I pull up my RescueTime dashboard and see the RED spike for today bigger than the BLUE spike, I really hunker down and focus on PRODUCTIVE work that I can do on the computer and add more BLUE. Instead of hanging out on Twitter or browsing my Goodreads recommendations (again).
There’s a (paid) PRO version, that among other things would let me block websites for certain period of time, nudging me when I get too distracted and track projects more specifically. It’s not something I would need just now, but it is nice that I have that option as part of a product I already use (rather than having to switch to a different time tracker in the future).
Do you use any kind of time tracker? What do you think?