Time Usage Update – December 2017

For almost a year now I have been monitoring the time that I spend on the computer and how it is used. Thankfully it is not something that I have to manually track as I make use of the Rescue Time application for this.

Even though I have the application installed and I track the time that I use, it has not changed my habits all that much. When I get the reports I can see that I still spend too much time on the unproductive and not enough on productive tasks. However, I have decided to start sharing the numbers here hopefully giving myself an added layer of accountability.

Even though I am still thinking over the idea of doing a weekly or monthly update I decided to share the last full month to get things started. The month I will share below is December 2017 and I will be evolving the process of what I share through this and the next couple of posts.

Total Time Logged

I logged a total of 66 hours and 16 minutes in December 2017. The time was down from 103 hours and 21 minutes the previous month. The biggest contributing factor to this was like days such as Christmas where I may have used the computer very little or not at all.

Following is a breakdown of how the time fell into the different categories from very productive to very distracting.

20h 9m Very Productive
8h 19m Productive
11h 1m Neutral
12h 53m Distracting
13h 49m Very Distracting

With these times it does look to be a somewhat even spread between productive and distracting time. However, that means I am probably doing far too many distracting things.

Top Productive Time

The category with the highest productive time is Design and Composition. There was a total of 15h 55m which accounts for 24% of my time this month.

The majority of this time was spent in Ulysses, which is a desktop-based Markdown Editor with a total of 9h 1m. I use Ulysses as my program of choice when writing for a couple of reasons. I don’t have to worry about any sort of formatting or clutter, I can just sit there and write. There is also a much lower chance of me losing any progress I have when writing and the ability to automatically sync with Dropbox.

I also spent 3h 50m working in Adobe Lightroom. I do a lot of work with photo’s so this kind of surprises me just how little time I spent in here. It often seems like I am always in Lightroom, but I suppose it is often for short bursts of time.

The other large chunk of time 2h 27m was spent working on my blog at Travel Explored. The time here will be a mixture of things from writing through to editing, graphics and preparing social media updates.

Top Distracting Time

I am not all that surprised to find that the most time was spent in social media when it comes to distracting time. However, at the same time, I am conflicted in calling some of this distracting.

I spent a total of 14h 22m on social media in December which accounts for 22% of my time. The majority of this time was spent on Facebook with 12h 2m on the platform. I do not deny that almost all of this time is distracting, but I do use it to some degree from a business perspective as well. But I cannot lie in December that might have totalled 10-15 minutes for Facebook.

On the other hand, I also spent 1h 25m on Instagram, just on the computer. While this could be seen as a distracting use of time, I do see it as productive. Instagram is a platform that I am working to grow my following, and the only way to do that is to interact with others on the platform.

Other Notable Time

The other notable category that comes up is Entertainment with 10h 34m or 16% of my time on the computer. Entertainment is another conflicting category for me because of how I use it.

There is no doubt that some level of Entertainment is for pure enjoyment. The biggest chunk of this time, 4h 42m was spent on Youtube. While some of that is watching personal videos and such, there is a chunk I use it to play music for while I am working. I would probably say 25% of that time is spent finding and playing or changing tracks, which I guess in some ways could be still distracting. One approach I am taking is to try and use an app like Soundcloud to play music from my phone instead of using Youtube.

Another 4h 28m was spent reading a comic website. So this is very much time that was for an entertainment purpose. There was so much time here because I was catching up on a few months of comics since I last visited. However, this choice was also part of downtime over christmas.

Progress On Goals

Finally, I want to cover my progress on the three goals that I have around my time on the computer.

  1. Spend less than two hours on all distracting time. I achieved this goal on 27 of the 31 days in December. Averaging just 52m per day on distracting time, or a total of 26h 42m for the month. The maximum distracting time for the month can be no more than 62 hours or I would fail this entirely.
  2. Spend more than three hours on all productive time. I did not achieve this goal on a single day throughout the month of December. The closest I got was on the 8th of December with 2h 33m logged of productive time. I averaged 55m a day across the month for a total of 28h 28m productive time. The total for the month if I achieved every day should exceed 93 hours in total.
  3. Spend more than two hours on writing. I did not achieve this goal on a single day throughout the month of December. The closest I got was on the 8th of December with 1h 37m logged of writing time. I averaged 22m a day across the month for a total of 11h 29m writing time. The total for the month if I had achieved every day should exceed 62 hours in total.

Summary

Even though I am not entirely happy with my productivity throughout the month of December, some of it comes down to the time of year. There are many factors that took me away from the computer. Of course, this makes it somewhat difficult to achieve goals that require a minimum amount of time being spent in front of the computer.

Coming into 2018 I do believe that I will be getting a lot more productive and focused on getting things done. Some of this is through the records that I will be keeping on this website and also knowing what I want to focus my time on.

I would love to head some feedback on this post from those who read it. While I expect to make some modifications it is also interesting to see what other people find interesting. In time I may add or remove some of the information that I am looking at based on how I find works best when digging into the Rescue Time statistics.

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