For a long time now, I have tried and failed at tracking my time in an effort to make myself more efficient. All of the methods I tried failed because they required me to keep notes or journal. I’m not that type. At all. I’m a list maker, I can follow a schedule no problem, but I can’t seem to manage to keep track of and manage to log time already spent. Perhaps it’s because I have such difficulty due to bouncing from one thing to the next, which requires glancing at a clock and grabbing a pencil every time something changes or pops up. Then you have the difficulty of estimating how long some things take. In your own mind, you over-estimate the amount of time something that you dislike eats up, and underestimate how much time you while away on something you enjoy.
Enter Rescue Time.
This program is insanely good. It runs in the background on your PC or Mac and does not require any active attention on your part. It tracks every application to the second, and the pro version even tracks every single web page. You can even track your off-line time, if you wish, with one click. They have a variety of reports and allow you to see the data presented in multiple ways.
You can change their ranking of activities. They rank everything as very distracting, distracting, neutral, beneficial or very beneficial. You can go in and easily adjust those rankings to get an accurate picture of your time. For example, most food sites on the web are rated as entertainment and are therefore set to a default of distracting. I changed those ratings as very beneficial because those are part of my job.
You can set the program on a ‘focus’ setting for a period of time that you choose. Rescue Time blocks all websites you have deemed distracting to help keep you on task.
If you leave your computer, you can pre-select up to six activities or categories and when you come back to your computer, it asks you what you’ve spent your time on so it will be appropriately logged.
You can turn Rescue Time off or tell it to mind its own business when you don’t want it to track your activity. You can set it to pop up reminders if you’ve exceeded your personally-set daily limit of very distracting activities, spent too much time on Facebook or reached your daily goal of productive time.
You can track individual projects for project management with a simple click. This feature will come in very handy as I juggle several projects to give me an idea of time commitments for future projects.
If you’re looking to become more efficient or re-tool your time either at work or at home, I highly recommend this program. It is extremely flexible and adaptable for everything from someone who works in or out of the home, needs help judging the time they spend on activities in their life or even trying to cut down on online time wasting. It would be wonderful to help keep track of billable projects and project management for those in business.
There are three versions available- a free version, a paid version that is for single-person use ($6-9 a month before the coupon), and a business version. Rescue Time offers a free 14-day trial on its paid versions. They are running a 25% off coupon on their site if you sign up and purchase a paid subscription on the same day, and they still credit you the two free week trial before charging you. You can cancel during your free trial and be charged nothing, or switch over to the free version with no difficulty on their website.
Disclaimer: If you sign up for the free or paid version of Rescue Time, I receive a small amount of free time added to my subscription.
KerryAnn Foster runs Cooking Traditional Foods, the longest running Traditional Foods Menu Mailer on the internet. KerryAnn has over nine years of traditional foods experience and is a former Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader. Founded in 2005, CTF helps you feed your family nourishing foods they will love. Each mailer contains one soup, five dinners, one breakfast, on dessert and extras. You can learn more about our Menu Mailers at the CTF website. For a free sample Menu Mailer, join our mailing list. You can also join our forum to chat with other traditional foodists and learn more.