Time management has always been viewed from the point of using time effectively and optimally, while cutting down on time wasted on unnecessary or unfruitful tasks. But for a web worker who is constantly on the look out for new information, whose task list keep shuffling, and multitasking is a norm, identifying how much time one spends on each such task is the first step towards productivity. If you don’t know where you are losing time, then you probably wont come around to figuring out areas of improvement. Enter RescueTime !
This is one of the products I thought I will signup for and probably would play around, write an article and be done with. Especially I came across this on a weekend. But this truly has surprised me, and lives up to its name.
Here is what it does:
- It logs time spent on each application, webpage etc
- You can tag each of these with appropriate names – work, personal etc
- You can set goals and alerts
Alright, you probably will find the same on their website as well. But here are some improvised ways I see this being used.
- You can tag them based on individual projects you are currently doing – you could be doing market research on a particular set of websites or could be working on powerpoint for a presentation.
- Anything you do can be tagged to the lowest level of granularity
- This can be sent to managers as a task done for the day. Especially useful if you have to submit tasks completed on a day-to-day basis.
- Managers can use RescueTime to track the amount of time spent on the work by a resource (considering the resource is 100% dedicated for the job at hand). In some tangible ways, he can use this for Costing/Pricing of the project.
Note: I hear that RescueTime for business is coming soon. Hope they have more such features(as stated above) are usable in a straightforward manner. More about that here.
Any task will involves research, digging up relevant background information, assimilating and using essential information towards completion of the tasks. RescueTime gives you a split up of how much time you have spent on each sub-item. Look at this way, its like analyzing your test scores. While identifying time wasted is important for effective correction and proper time management, refinements and productivity comes from knowing where you are spending too much time and in the effective prioritization of the tasks at hand based on the relative criticality. It also helps to understand your strong areas, and points to sections that you probably need to concentrate more on a longer run.
The beauty of it is, using RescueTime you don’t have to analyze your time and synthesis of gathered statistics. The tags do the job, goals and alerts keep them in check. What more, the widgets will add the right spice to it.