For those of you trying to master the allocation of your most precious resource - your time - or if you're just curious where all your time goes in a given day - check out this free software (yes, you have to actually install it, but trust me - it's worth it) called Rescue Time at rescuetime.com.
It tracks your allocation of time throughout the day, letting you know how much time you've spent on productive tasks vs. those all-too-common, not-so-effective activities.
You can even categorize your activities from a scale of -2 (big distraction) to 0 (neutral) to +2 (very productive). For example, today I used windows media player to listen in on some outbound calls that our sales reps made. The software automatically assumes I'm listening to music, but with the click of a mouse, I can tell it that that was actually productive time spent (in this case on training and development). It'll remember that selection going forward, and in the future it'll assume I'm being productive when the media player is open. (If I did use it to listen to music or watch movies, then of course, I'd want to make sure I'm calling it as such and either rank it a -2, -1, or at best a 0 going forward...).
The best part is, you never really even know it's there. It's pretty quiet in the background, except for the occasional pop-up box asking what you've been doing for the last 10 mins or so if you're on a phone call or if you've stepped out.
Great tool! Enjoy!
Have a great weekend!
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