Buster Benson: How I Use RescueTime

Buster Benson of Habit Labs likes to experiment with productivity, among other things. He uses RescueTime to see which apps and websites he spends the most time on each week. The winners are his text editor (for coding) and Gmail. In the video below, Buster talks about the ease of different kinds of tracking, from passive to binary to active entry, and previews some some Habit Labs apps. The folks from RescueTime are also present, adding to the audience discussion. (Filmed by the Seattle QS Show&Tell meetup group – first video from them!)

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5 Responses to Buster Benson: How I Use RescueTime

  1. Ben says:

    Aside from his desire to ‘beat’ his prior productive hours, I’m wondering what you really get out of this data after minimizing time on entertainment sites or other useless web use.

    • Bill Schuller says:

      The questions I wish I had time to answer with my RescueTime data off the top of my head:

      How does my sleep quality affect my productivity? ( compare against Zeo data)
      How does my activity level affect my productivity? (+fitbit)
      Overall activity (daily) vs in-the-moment activity. E.g. Am I more productive in a standing/treadmill workstation?
      Am I more happy when I’m more productive?
      Do distractions increase or decrese my happiness?

  2. You mention the spectrum of passive to binary to active tracking of time. Bethany Soule and I have an interesting middle ground called TagTime: http://messymatters.com/tagtime — or http://tagti.me for the github page.

    In short: TagTime randomly samples you to build a noisy but unbiased estimate of where your time is going. It’s still kind of a nerds-only thing (it pops up an xterm for the prompt, and uses vim as the tag editor) but it does integrate nicely with Beeminder. We keep feeling tempted to at least write a native OSX version of it.

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