For the past three months I have been using Rescue Time, which is a really amazing tool to track your time usage.
It runs in the background and logs every single thing you do on your computer. Then when you log in to the web dashboard you can categorize the sites and programs you use and also rate them according to productivity.
From there it draws out a few stats and lets you see where your time is being spent.
In fact, for those of you who follow my daily accountability, I get my 0-3 number generally from multiplying my daily efficiency number by 3. Sometimes I add or subtract depending on what I did while not on the computer, but it's a good measure.
Here are some interesting stats from my personal results.
I spend about 20 hours a week on working. It's actually a bit more than this because I don't tag every last thing (researching for a post or finding stock images for a site, for example), and some work takes place on the phone.
Oh, and I was having some computer trouble for ten days there where I was working and my work didn't get logged.
Lets call it 25 total.
Anyway, I'm fairly happy with 25 hours of work per week. I think that I could be using my work time more effectively (something I'm implementing strategies for now), but that's a good quantity. I'm spending a lot of time learning and seeing things. I think I'll shoot for 30 hours from now on, though.
Keep in mind that unlike a real job, this only accounts for time that I'm actually working. As soon as I switch the browser to digg, it starts counting against me.
I spent 66 hours total chatting on AIM. That's about 45 minutes a day.
It says that I spend only 15 minutes a day wasted on the internet. It's actually more than this because I tend to waste time by clicking links from digg and reading about things, and I don't tag all of those. Still - I do tag the big ones, so this is pretty good for me.
If you were to look at this stat last year... it would have been bad.
Time on e-mail every day: 25 minutes. Hey... maybe that's because I'm terrible at replying to e-mails!
E-mail checking is actually a bigger timesuck than that because it breaks up my flow of work and takes a few minutes to get on track after checking. Because of this I have started working with my e-mail program closed.
Most computer time in one day: 15 hours 9 minutes, 10 and a half hours of that spent working.
76 hours spent blogging. That's 1 and a half hours per post! I thought I was way faster than that.
But here's the big stat: I have spent 550.33 logged hours on the computer. That means that I spend just over 6 hours a day on the computer everyday. That's a lot, but not actually as much as I would have guessed.
It's really interesting to have such good stats on my computer usage. If you use it too, post some of your stats here. If you don't use it, you can check it out at www.rescuetime.com.
yeah i waste a ton of time on digg too, it is so addictive! One way you can browse more efficiently on digg is to have an account and customize what kinds of stories it shows. Less crap to filter through that way.
I've been on RescueTime for about 36 hours, it has tripled my productivity. I realized what a fantastic amount of time I spent on "everything else".
This software is a good step for entrepreneurs toward the feedback advantages of a traditional work environment, while retaining the benefits of freelance accountability.
For most of my life I operated without a daily routine. I would have an idea of what needed to be done every day, and how I should be living my life, but there was little consistency between my days. Around a year ago I started working on building a daily routine, and I've been surprised to find that I like it more than running free. I prefer it because I can focus my decision-making on important things, rather than minutiae, and I can optimize my routine as I go, rather than starting from scratch every day.
I generally wake up between nine and eleven in the morning, usually pretty close to ten. I don't set an alarm because I've noticed that being well slept is one of the biggest influences on daily performance. Waking up an hour earlier by alarm can reduce my ability to focus by half. Not worth it.
As soon as I wake up, I set a timer for five minutes and I meditate. I've only been doing this for a month, and haven't noticed any benefits yet, but I expect it to be a long term investment, not a short term one. The five minutes goes by fast.
Immediately after meditating, I weigh in on my withings scale, brush my teeth, and put water on for tea. Usually I drink Samovar's Green Ecstasy, but I've been drinking Breakaway Matcha's 99 and 100 recently, and I'll occasionally drink a Taiwanese Oolong. I drink tea early because the blend of caffeine, theanine, and whatever else is in tea, helps me focus. I can actually feel the difference when I don't have tea. The effect wears off after a couple hours, but it's a nice way to jump start work early.
If you remember, I am trying to learn something new everyday. I have a list of big projects, and I choose 3 of them to work on at a time. Everyday I alternate between them, hoping to accomplish some progress every week. Unfortunately, I have barely gotten time this last week and will probably get less in the weeks to come. As a result, I'm going to reduce the amount of work to do.
First of all, I don't think I am too motivated to learn Bio. It's a fascinating subject, but learning on it on my own means a lot of memorization - exactly why I hated it in middle school. For this reason I'm going to switch from Biology to Statistics (got a free textbook from work). I could now not be more math-centric; the three big projects I'll be working on are Algebra, Statistics, and Computer Science.
Because I need to reduce the amount of work to do, I should come up with a Study Plan for every week. Let's first outline what I want to complete every week (including reading):
Read minimum of 350 pages every week (50 pages a day).
Finish two weeks in Coursera.