How to Easily Monitor Distracted Time

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Where did the day go?


How often have you asked this question at the end of the day? For me, it was way too often. Then I discovered RescueTime.

RescueTime is a monitoring tool that helps you keep track of what you do all day on your computer — the applications you use and the websites you visit, and for how long.

This tool works on Peter Drucker’s management principle that “what gets measured, gets managed.” Once you install the RescueTime client on your computer, it runs in the background and collects Internet usage data while you work. A dashboard shows useful charts that can help manage your time. There is a version for multiple employees if you desire to monitor everyone.

For me, it is not about “Big Brother” but about knowledge for self-management.

RescueTime can track how much time you spend on productive websites such as Google Docs, Wikipedia, agency websites, etc. The platform will also show how much time you spend on distracting sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. The program allows you to choose what sites and applications it monitors so you have complete control.

At any time, you can set up to receive a detailed summary of the activities you were engaged in based on your website usage.

For example, if you spend two hours on Wikipedia, the software categorizes the time spent as “Research.”

Trust is an important factor governing employer-employee relationships, so remember it is always prudent to let your employees know how and why their computers are being monitored.

There are too many features for me to include here. You can find complete details on their website.

RescueTime Mobile

As you well know, mobile devices have become an important part of work and life, but they are also a source of distraction. The RescueTime Android and iOS app automatically tracks time on those devices and can be set up to block websites and apps that can distract the user.

RescueTime Pricing

There is a free Lite version that lets you access some of the main features. If you’d like to try the additional tools, you can try the Premium version. Pricing for these plans are:

  • Premium: $12/month or $78/year
  • Premium for Teams: $6 per user/month
  • Both paid plans come with a 14-day free trial.

While I don’t check my RescueTime dashboard often, it does help me have visibility into what I did during the day. If you are feeling distracted, it might be a tool worth exploring.

Steve Anderson provides information to insurance agents about how they can use technology to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses. He speaks professionally to hundreds of agents each year on the future of technology, the social web, and how insurance agencies can establish their Internet presence.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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