Spending your time wisely

Every morning, I have an accountability call with a friend to ensure I stay focused and on task.  One of the questions I have him ask me is how many times I checked Facebook and Email unnecessarily the day before.  It was a great idea, but I found myself consistently forgetting to document the times I logged in and used these distractions.  What I needed was a way to automate this process, so that I could better judge my unproductive time.  Fortunately, I found it.

Last week, I installed RescueTime (the free version), a software program that tracks time spent in front of the computer (which amounts to 90% of my day).  It tracks my time spent on specific software programs, websites, and apps and rates each by how productive/distracting that activity is.  All of this data is used to display an overall daily productivity pulse.  I must admit, I love it so far.  It gives a much better picture of how I spend my day.  It even allows me to set daily goals (which I haven’t done yet, but plan to do in the near future).  Now I can adjust my questions for the accountability call to better reflect my productivity and usage of distracting sites, giving me greater insights on my own behavior and enabling me to change for the better.

About John Drake

John Drake is an associate professor at East Carolina University. While pursing his PhD in management information technology and innovation, John learned the art of high productivity through setting difficult goals to achieve unending success. John is a student of Objectivism, an advocate of Getting Things Done, a parent of three, a husband, a writer, a business owner, a web master, and an all around cool guy. His professional site is at http://professordrake.com

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