Last week, I completed my first 5 days with RescueTime. I was actually pretty delighted with what I found. I think RescueTime works well for me because virtually everything I do is online, so something that tracks what I do online is provides a fairly accurate reflection of what I am doing. I think it is easy to spend alot of time on the computer WWILFing (What Was I Looking For?), being led from one thing to the next.
What I discovered, upon looking at the weekly charts, was that I was actually pretty productive. Email only accounted for 13% of my time (OK could have been better, but not bad compared to the norm I suspect) and reading things like blogs, RSS feeds, social networking sites etc was pretty insignificant.
So, I felt pretty confident. Could improve, but not bad nevertheless. Later I started to look at the figures in a different way. I had already selected my two most productive activities for display in a bar chart. Writing, which equates to using WORD) and , research which equates to reading PDFs in Acrobat, using the online library, Google scholar, Google books etc. If you select to look at a specific day, the time spend on each of your two activities is displayed on an hourly basis as a percentage of the total time spent online during that hour. I found that looking at my daily charts began to reveal the times of the day when I am most productive.
I had always thought that first thing in the morning and 3-4pm was my most efficient time, based on word-count, but it’s nice to see it confirmed in a little chart.