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Journal / General
There are two apps that I use to help me stay productive and encourage me to live a better life.
The first is Rescue Time which I've been using for years (except for a gap at the end of 2017 after I switched laptops). It has been a wonderful tool to help me understand how my time is spent while I'm working.
The app keeps track of what websites and apps I use throughout the day, makes best guesses about what is productive vs. distracting time, and then helps me generate daily, weekly, monthly, and annual reports about how I'm doing.
Here's my report so far for January:
I'm fairly happy with an 84% productivity score here; that's giving myself time to respond to messages, reply to emails, read some blog posts, and of course check Spectrum and Twitter. Moving closer to 90% would feel good, but each percentage point gained in productivity at this stage is hard-earned.
The second app I only picked up earlier this month, called Moment. Moment hacks around the iPhone's location tracking API to understand when I'm on my phone throughout the day. I can set screen-free time, turn on reminders about high phone usage throughout the day, and even track how many times I pick up my phone (so far I'm averaging 78 per day - yikes).
When I first downloaded the app I assumed that my usage would be lower. Overall I try to stay mindful about how much of my time gets absorbed in the phone. But, of course, I'd just been fooling myself - I'm on this thing a lot.
Here are last week's figures:
There are days this week where I was hitting 3 hours of phone time! At first I didn't think these numbers were right; surely I wasn't spending that much time on my phone. But time adds up in surprising ways, and without this little app I wouldn't have guessed that I was this...hooked.
Sure, a good chunk of that time is texting with friends and family - things I'd consider important and meaningful. It'd be unreasonable to try and get my phone time to 0. But 3 hours per day? I'm kidding myself.
My goals going forward are to get phone screen time down to under 2 hours a day (which is still insanely high if you think about it as a percentage of my waking life - 12-15%!). Eventually this year I'd like that phone screen time to come down even further, ideally below 1.5 hours, but I will work my way there.
And in terms of work productivity, I'm focused on maintaining an ~85% working time productivity score. Getting this to 90% would be ideal, but challenging - I'll work my way there.
Are you using tracking tools like these? Have you found any successful tips for getting screen time down or productivity up?