RescueTime-intro

A downside of working on the computer all day is how easy it is to get distracted. All the sites out there with a lot of interesting content make it really easy to get lost for hours while you should be working. Luckily for all of us who work on a computer for a living, RescueTime is there to help us find the leaks in our productivity pipeline.

Google Chrome users can download RescueTime as a standalone add-on to keep track of time spent on the Internet. Feel like you’re wasting too much time reading websites? Until you can measure what you’re doing, it’s hard to tell how much time you’re actually spending doing certain tasks. If you use a different browser, there’s likely to be a RescueTime extension for your favorite browser too.

Get RescueTime up and running

Download the RescueTime for Google Chrome add-on from the RescueTime site or the Chrome web store.

RescueTime-download-button

You will need to agree to the download like normal.

RescueTime-downloaded

When downloaded, you will need to let them know if you are a RescueTime user already of you need to start an account. (I personally use RescueTime as a paid subscriber and find it super useful and worth every penny.)

RescueTime-new-acount

To start a new account, just enter your email address to the text box. Once entered you’ll be sent a confirmation email. You’ll also be asked to activate the device, in this case, Google Chrome. That’s all there is to setting up the Google Chrome extension and creating an account.

RescueTime-device-activation

Quick configuration

Right off the bat, RescueTime will ask you a few questions on what you think is distracting and what’s productive.

RescueTime-distraction

In the drop-down are a few categories for you to rank. Once you have the set up it will help RescueTime to better gauge whether you’re being productive or not based on your criteria.

RescueTime-your-criteria

You can also get a little more specific on the websites you’d like to track or not track. To truly get an idea of where your time spent, it’s a good idea to track each individual site.

RescueTime-monitoring-options

Using RescueTime for Google Chrome

Initially, there will not be any information in RescueTime. Just start going about your normal daily routine and RescueTime will start collecting the data it needs. Ideally, they recommend having to days worth of usage before looking at the statistics and graphs.

RescueTime-dashboard

Once you have logged some time you will start to see the graphs being populated and your productivity rating. In the dashboard, you will have a lot of different reports.

When just starting out, you want to look at the categories RescueTime is placing your activities in. Sometimes an activity can be improperly categorized throwing off your whole productivity chart. For the example of a social media manager, RescueTime will likely think Facebook is a distraction whereas it’s actually where you work so being on Facebook is highly productive for you.

RescueTime-dashboard-sidebar

Here is what some of the graphs look like with some time logged.

RescueTime-graph

Final words

With a little bit of tweaking to personalize the categories and actions, RescueTime can really help you figure out where you are wasting your time during your workday. You would be surprised at how much of the day you are distracted. RescueTime will also anonymously compare your results to those of other users. It’s kind of nice to see how productive you are in comparison to other random strangers.

Download RescueTime for Google Chrome.

See Also: