Amazing Productivity Tool – RescueTime Review

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Whether you spend most of your work day on a computer or just a few hours, RescueTime can help you be more productive and gain some serious insights into your daily productivity levels. In this short review, I’m going to tell you about my experience with this fantastic productivity tool.

How productive are you?

With the endless distractions online like Facebook, YouTube, and many others, you can quickly go down a rabbit hole and end up wasting hours of precious time on distraction after distraction. Let’s face it, these websites are meant to suck you in. These companies spend insane amounts of money on research, development, and algorithms that are designed to keep you on their site and surfing content they know you like. With this in mind, I had to know just how productive I really was.

As a business owner running a digital agency, I knew that I was spending absurd amounts of time in front of my computer, but I wanted to know how much time exactly, and just how productive I was. These questions had nagged me for quite some time, so I decided it was time to pull the trigger on something to monitor my productivity. On the hunt for a productivity tool, I quickly found RescueTime which has a great free version as well as a premium version. I downloaded the free version and played with it for just a few hours and watched the data come in. I was hooked! I knew this was the right tool for me as it didn’t require much if any babysitting after categorizing the web pages and applications I use. In fact, it actually did a pretty darn good job and categorized most web pages and applications automatically and correctly.

The data

Alright, here it is! Below you’ll see my very first full month of March 2018 using this software.

As you can see, I worked very hard and quite intensely in March 2018. This ended up being a real eye-opener for me as to just how much time I was spending on my computer. Keep in mind that since they do not have an iPhone app yet, this wasn’t recording a lot of the activities I was doing on my iPhone which is used almost exclusively for work. Furthermore, I wasn’t able to get the application to work correctly yet on my laptop that runs the Ubuntu OS. The main work-around for this however is that if you have no activity on your workstation for more than a few minutes, it will ask you where you were and what you were doing when you were away. It even allows you to categorize it and take a quick note. See image below for the prompt upon returning to your workstation.

Daily patterns

Being able to spot daily productivity patterns can help you understand what time of the day you are most productive and help you schedule work accordingly. This was especially helpful for me as I don’t always have a set schedule which is evident below.

As you can see, I’m pretty productive from 1 PM to 5 PM, but I tend to be most productive from 9 PM to 4 AM.

Keeping an eye on distracting activities

Since I tend to use Zoho Social for managing all of my social profiles in one place, I have classified Facebook.com as very distracting, even though it is a part of my marketing efforts for my business. The bottom line is that Facebook can suck me in from time to time, even if I have a plan in place as to what I’m going to do when I log in. The same with YouTube. Even though I spend a lot of time creating training videos for clients, I still classify it as very distracting since I do want to minimize my time spent on these websites as much as possible.

By being mindful and checking my productivity reports often, I was able to keep my time spent on Facebook very minimal. See below:

Setting up RescueTime

Setting up RescueTime is very easy and straightforward.

  • Just install the application on all of the devices you use.
  • Add the RescueTime extension to your Chrome Browser for better tracking of websites.
  • Start using your devices as you regularly would.
  • Log into RescueTime and start categorizing all of the activities.
    • Keep in mind that once you categorize a website or application, you won’t have to do it again.
    • A little work in the beginning goes a long ways to giving you perspective.
    • Keep in mind that as with any data, garbage in equals garbage out. Take your time and put thought into it.
  • Use the pop-up prompt when you get back to your workstation and be sure to customize the options to suite your needs and save you time..
  • Review your data and the email reports it sends to gain valuable insights.

Conclusion

Although I was pretty bummed out about them not having an IOS app, the pop-up that occurs when you’ve had no activity on your workstation seems to fill in some of this gap quite well. All-in-all, this software has been amazing to use and has really shed quite a bit of light on my daily, weekly, and monthly activities. At $9.00 per month, I feel it’s well worth the small investment, however, the free version will probably work fine for a lot of people as well. I would implore anyone who spends a good amount of their workday on their computer to use this software to gain insights into their personal productivity.

What’s your favorite productivity tool?

Whether you spend most of your work day on a computer or just a few hours, RescueTime can help you be more productive and gain some serious insights into your daily productivity levels. In this short review, I’m going to tell you about my experience with this fantastic productivity tool.



How productive are you?

With the endless distractions online like Facebook, YouTube, and many others, you can quickly go down a rabbit hole and end up wasting hours of precious time on distraction after distraction. Let’s face it, these websites are meant to suck you in. These companies spend insane amounts of money on research, development, and algorithms that are designed to keep you on their site and surfing content they know you like. With this in mind, I had to know just how productive I really was.

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