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Adarsh TS
Adarsh TS

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Tracking every minute of my day.

I became more aware of where I was spending my time. It was like someone watching me from behind. I became my own boss. Here I will be sharing my experience in tracking every minute of day for two weeks.

Introduction

Even before I started tracking my time I was well aware of the fact that I was spending a lot of time doing unproductive activities. I used to dabble between YouTube, coding, college classes, Instagram whenever I felt like. There was no accountability.

Every now and then I also used to read blogs on Dev. On July 18 I happen to read a very interesting blog by @dragosbln titled "I tracked every minute of my time for the last 4 months. Here are 7 totally unexpected results". Here I'm also linking the article. It was an eye opener for me. The desire to track my own time also was very strong that I started tracking my time from that very minute.

I am grateful to @dragosbln for sharing his experience in a very detailed manner. The Toggl timer application proved to be extremely easy and fun to use. The Toggl timer app also syncs across the devices. Though I use the mobile app mostly to track my time, the web-app gives better analysis and plots of the tracked time.

About Toggl

Toggl timer provides a month of free premium trial after which one need to pay to continue using the Premium plan. The free plan packs enough features for getting most of things done.

I started by creating some projects: Leisure, Online class, Sleep, Routines, Fitness, Spiritual and Misc. These projects are similar to the concept of class in Object oriented programming paradigm. Every activity I track falls into one of the above mentioned projects.

track

It is definitely a pain to track time in the starting. I often used to forget to start/stop the timer when I move to the next activity. Furthermore, it is not pleasant to know that you have spent more than 40% of the day in Leisure activities on some days.

But yes, this is where we can seek improvement. I was able to cut down a lot of "switching-between" activities. Checking WhatsApp in between became a strict no-no unless I made an entry in Toggl timer.

Conclusion

It felt simply great to know that I had control over my time. After two weeks of tracking my time I am now beginning to develop this as a habit. The daily and weekly analysis gives me enough information to know the activities which consume most of my time.

Though I haven't made any significant changes to my daily activities, I made a point to get comfortable tracking my time by just recording my time and not focusing too much on optimizing it. Some of the comments on the OP mentioned about methods like "time-blocking" to improve the efficiency and productivity. Now that I am able to comfortably track my time I will try to implement these methods in the coming week.

I now believe that every person needs to have control over his time. Tracking the time spent is probably the best way to get started.

Discussion (11)

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debuqer profile image
Debuqer

The company I work for uses a software to track every single activity that we do. Tasks will be created and employees are forced to start/stop their own tasks. It always was a hardest thing to track my times at work but never thought about recording my own personal activities.
I think as much as you like the result you put effort into tracking times.
Thanks to you I want to try it once now.

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy

Ugh. That's awful

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dragosbln profile image
Bilaniuc Dragos

Congrats, @tsadarsh ! I'm so happy to hear that you've also tried it, and it works for you as well!
Keep up the good work, dude!

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kishanbsh profile image
Kishan B

If you are fan of CLI you can also use watson to track your time :-)

github.com/TailorDev/Watson

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tsadarsh profile image
Adarsh TS Author

Wow. This CLI is super cool. Thanks for sharing it.

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kishanbsh profile image
Kishan B
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tsadarsh profile image
Adarsh TS Author

This blog was an interesting read.

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kishanbsh profile image
Kishan B

Also what about the when to do things in parallel..

Eg Doing opensource contribution while present in boring meetings?

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tsadarsh profile image
Adarsh TS Author

Well, you can only be doing one thing at any given time. If I was doing opensource contribution in a boring meeting, my Toggl entry would be "open source". This is because my primary focus is in open source contribution. It is just like I am sitting in a different room.

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kishanbsh profile image
Kishan B

What about phone calls? It is easy to not enable the timer before doing that

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tsadarsh profile image
Adarsh TS Author

Yeah, one may forget to enable the timer before picking up the call. But the entries in Toggl can always be edited, very much like the "edit" option in Watson.