Time tracking #

Tracking the time you spend doing things is an interesting part of the quantified self idea. I get it and I think it makes sense - if you observe where you spend time, you can make decisions on how to spend it differently and hold yourself accountable to those decisions. Since time is the most precious resource we have in life, it makes sense to watch where we spent it, no?

I feel like people intuitively make a face about the idea, as though it is a little obsessive. We do not have the same stigma about people who track where they spend their money, though. In fact, using insights you derive from data about your spending habits, and then changing your behaviour and holding yourself accountable with the data, sounds like a very intelligent thing to do. I wonder why replacing “money” with “time” changes our reaction.

  • ActivityWatch is a great open-source, privacy-focussed way to track how you are using your time on your computer.
  • RescueTime is what I have used for many years; their interface is a bit clunky and slow these days though. I used to pay but now just use the free version. I wish there was a way to import their data into ActivityWatch; perhaps I can build the importer.

Links to this note