Rescuing Time

Wasting Time
I’ve been using my time poorly lately. I’ll be at the computer for a few hours and have no idea what I accomplished. The way I see it there are three major factors:

  • Lack of Clear Goal – Since I’m not actively working on a project, there’s no push to accomplish certain tasks each day.
  • Distractions = Hacker News + Google Reader. Yeah, I know: blasphemy.
  • Working in Chunks – My best work is accomplished when I can work uninterrupted for several hours. How do you do this and maintain a healthy relationship at the same time?

I use Rescue Time plus a similar program I wrote back in February called Usage Monitor. Rescue Monitor kicks my program’s ass (which is a good thing). I keep them both going because its interesting to compare their totals. Rescue Time has me at about 88 hours (2:50/day), Usage Monitor 82 hours (2:40/day). The difference I figure might be the idle rate, I’m not sure. I trust Rescue Time.

The only area where mine is remotely better is that I can quickly see how much time I’ve spent using a browser vs everything else. I think you can do this with tagging in Rescue Time with tagging, but its not entirely clear. (Also – is there an easy way to breakdown my Rescue Time data by day of the week? I’d like that.) According to Usage Monitor, I spend about 70% of my time on the internet – eesh.

It’d be unfair to classify all of that as wasted time. I do research, dabble in web development, and write this blog among other things. However, in that 87 hours there’s certainly some fatty sections:

  • This Blog – 18:06
  • Hacker News – 8:43
  • Google Reader + TechCrunch – 4:00
  • GMail – 2:37

I could definitely limit a lot of those by doing my daily reading during my slow times and lunch at work.

Goals – I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to come up with a killer idea. Something worthy of a lot of time over the next few months. Given the amount of startups that fail, that’s probably not a bad thing. However, I’m getting ahead of myself. I need to learn the technical skills before I can really launch into a big startup. So, I’ve decided to just pick one of the ideas, even though its probably not a killer one, and go with it.

Many kudos to anyone who is successful founding a startup with both a dayjob and a marriage.

Now, I’m wasting time.

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