Ep. #40 – A Tool To Help You Discover Your Distractions
“You can always find a distraction if you’re looking for one.”
– Tom Kite: Professional Golfer
In This Episode
You’re going to find out about a tool that will help you find the things that distract you the most when you’re working on your computer. Using this tool may be one of the most eye-opening experiences in which you’ll engage. Listen further if you dare to challenge yourself.
Oh The Wicked Web We Weave
How many times has this happened to you? You get in front of your computer, you sit down to get some work done and next thing you know you get a notification of a new email. No big deal, you open it up and it’s from a friend letting you know about a great article on self-discipline. You click the link and when you get done with it, you see something at the bottom that says “If you liked this article, you’ll like this one too.” Those website features are designed to keep you clicking and they work! I use them here on this site.
Unfortunately, 30-45 minutes later you’re reading some gossip about how Miley Cyrus was in the spotted walking out of some South Beach hotspot.
This happens to me and I’m extra cautious because I know it’s a hurdle. I end up distracted and shaking my head that I’ve lost 30 minutes of productive time.
Usher is Rescue Time
Visit: Rescue Time (affiliate link)
Rescue Time is a fantastic app that will monitor every website you go to and put it in customizable categories, based on what’s important to you. Customer projects, Social Media work, Social Media play, Politics, Industry News, etc.
You can set your categories and associate different website to each category. You can even associate sub-pages to specific categories.
For example, if I’m on Facebook reading about Aunt Betty’s new cat, that’s play time but it still falls under “facebook.com” however, if I’m Facebook.com/PDesmondAdams and I’m replying to a comment you left, that’s legit work time for me. With Rescue Time I can categories both of those properly
Rescue Time Will Monitor Your Application Use as Well.
If you’re in replying to emails, that’s one category, maybe communications. If you’re opening up Word or Pages, to work on your latest eBook, that’s another category. When you open up Candy Crush, that falls under… waste of time… or play.
It won’t get down to the granular level where it looks at WHAT you’re doing when Word or Pages is open, but it will measure your time.
You Can Set Goals as Well.
Do you want to spend more time working on your eBook? Set a goal to put in at least 5 hours a week working on it and Rescue Time will let you know how you’re progressing.
But what about after hours? Can I never take a break?
Rescue Time will let you set the parameters on when it’s recording your activity. Maybe you want to have it stop at 6pm, just tell it. It won’t record what you’re doing after that time.
You can also have your goals tracked based on specific times. Maybe you want to spend more time during the morning working emails so you’re not so slammed in the afternoons. Tell Rescue Time and it will let you know how you’re doing and when you’ve reached your goal.
Weekly Reports are Emailed to You
At the end of each week, you’re going to get a report showing how your time on your computer breaks down. What categories did you work within the most. Of your unproductive categories, what website or application consumed the most time?
You’ll find out your most productive day, what time of day do you get the most done? Rescue Time will even give you a score and let you know how that compares to the previous week.
Everything I’ve mentioned so far is available in the FREE version of Rescue Time.
Want to go deeper and more detailed? There’s a pro version that will do it. Want to be able to track what you were doing when you were away from your computer?
Rescue Time will notice when you’ve gone inactive and when you return, it will ask “what have you been doing and what category would you put that into?”
You’ll be able to block access to any of the websites you’ve labeled at “Distracting” for a specific period of time. If you have a project you have to finish for a meeting in 90 minutes. Tell RescueTime to block all distractions and it will be a lot easier to stay focused.
You can real time alerts when yo go over your goals or exceed times in certain categories.
You’ll also be able to go into deeper stats.
That pro version runs $9 per month. It’s a pretty smart investment if you really want to get focused on what’s most important for you.
I used the pro version for several months to help me get a better grasp on what was costing me the most time. Once I found that out, I moved back down to the free version and I’m happy there. You may want to do the same thing. In my mind, I thought, that’s about the same cost as a Netflix subscription and this is going to help me get more done with my time. Totally justified.
Check out Rescue Time right now
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