Tuesdays in G.O. with C.G.O. Month are all about Time Management. While time management can be all about big picture principles, productivity and prioritization, sometimes, the simplest part of Time Management is managing the actual minutes in a day, making sure you’re spending them wisely, not wasting the valuable ones.
With all the distractions out there today (not including reading the latest Clever Girl post, of course), there are many ways technology can help you stay on track, stay focused, be productive and make sure you’re not wasting time you’d rather not waste.
RescueTime is a free app that runs on your computer in the background, and helps to monitor where you’re spending time when you’re supposed to be focusing on something else on the computer. It will give you detailed reports, daily dashboard, weekly summaries, etc., to help you understand best how and where you are spending your time on your PC, Mac, Linux and Android machines. You can get a paid version to help block you from visiting certain distraction sites during work hours, or help you set and measure goals for the the day.
Toggl helps you track things you do all day. You use it for one-click time tracking and reporting at the end of the day for how your day was spent.
I love the Time Timer. I wrote about this last year as one of my favorite products that I saw at the NAPO National Conference. While it is based as an accompaniment to the Pomodoro technique (which states that the best productivity cycle is 25 minutes of focused work, followed by a 3-5 minute break, before another 25 minute session, lather, rinse, repeat) it can really work for any length of time. You can either get an actual, physical clock, or use their app (which is what I do).
My Minutes lets you track your time, establishing limitations (“no more than one hour on my phone”) or goals (“work out for at least 30 minutes”) to track. You establish a set of activities, including being able to create regularly occurring activities, and structure your day, tracking against the countdown or count up you’ve established.
BreakFree offers to provide feedback on just how much you’re REALLY using your phone and the apps on them. It has usage monitoring, notifications, can create blocks of non-use time, and can even be used to establish parental controls. Are you addicted to your phone? BreakFree can tell you what’s REALLY going on.
Finally, don’t overlook the simple answer of setting up the stopwatch functionality in your phone, or just going to Google and typing “20 minute timer” and one automatically appears and begins to countdown.
Which one will YOU try to help keep your time in check??