Today we love: RESCUETIME. Even though it judges us!

Everyone likes Fridays (and not just because it’s the day we publish our fabulous blog!). Fridays signal the end of the working week, and generally offices are happy places to be as the weekend looms. However, it’s a well known fact that productivity can plummet on a Friday, to a point where some bosses even cave in and send everyone home early! This got us thinking about productivity, and ways to ensure that, as a start-up, possibly working alone, you can make sure that you maintain your focus, no matter what day of the week it is.

We’ve found a very nifty little programme called Rescuetime (www.rescuetime.com), recommended by a friend, who swears that it has the power to shame/inspire her to make better use of her time. We tried it, and she’s absolutely right!

Rescuetime tracks your activity via a silent application that requires very little input, and just sits in the virtual corner – watching your every move! It collates all the information, then reports back to you, telling you what websites you’ve visited, what programmes you’ve been working in, and how often you’ve abandoned the computer entirely, and disappeared for a cuppa in the garden. It rates the websites you’ve visited by how distracting they are (it’s not a fan of Facebook!), but allows you to amend the distraction rating if you feel it’s appropriate. It also allows you to give it a good reason for not being at your computer, so you can head off for an important meeting without Rescuetime thinking you’re skiving. 

On a daily basis, it tells you how productive you’ve been, for how long, and what percentage of other Rescuetime users you are more (or less) productive than. Therein lies the beauty of it. You find yourself striving for its approval, working harder, for longer, and avoiding distracting websites, just so that Rescuetime tells you you’ve been VERY GOOD INDEED. It doesn’t quite give you a biscuit and a pat on the head, but it does make you feel very virtuous when it tells you that you have been more productive than 93% of all other users.

We love it, and have found that it has a genuine impact on our output. Definitely worth a try if you struggle to focus, and think you’d get along with a free application that makes you want to work harder. Even if there are no biscuits…