I am not a time management expert however like many of us, you probably struggle, at times, with time management and distractions at work place. For example, we observe that some of us spent their time in social networking, which is distracting for most of us at work and perhaps such activities need to be managed. However, the real problem is that at the end of the day we don’t know exactly how much time we spent doing what? We need some facts and figures so that we can work on it. As they say,
“You cannot improve what you don’t measure”
I found a great tool Rescue Time (courtesy of Scott Hanselman for adding in his Tool List). Rescue time gives answer to one of the most fundamental and important question.
Am I really spending my days the way I want to?
So the way it works that it keeps track of application running on your computer, categorize them, and mark them as either ‘productive’ or ‘distracting’ or ‘neutral’ etc. which we can definitely configure our self. So at the end of the day/week/month it gives us a nice dashboard to know that each day how much productive time we spent and further drilling down to category-wise activities we have done.
As an example, below are few graphs copied from my dashboard (this week).
The good thing about the tool is that it lets you customize it. You can categorize activities, mark them as productive or not and you can set monitoring timings as well.
So I would suggest you to give it a try, measure your day, track down your activities and start improving. As quick start just install the software and forget it, few weeks later check your dashboard and I am sure it would surprise you to some extent. Register and download Rescue Time.
Disclaimer: Please note that I have no association with Rescue Time. I am neither paid by the company nor do I take any guarantee of the software. I am just sharing my experience because I like using it.
Further Reading: There is a great book I came across some time back on productivity and time management “Getting Results the Agile Way”, a personal result system for work and life. It’s available free online and it’s very practical. There is a highly recommended chapter in it “Monday Vision, Daily Wins and Friday Reflection”. Go for it.