Saturday, February 21, 2009

My RSS Reader has a "Productivity" Category

I put it there. Nevertheless, it's there. This post is about the irony of that.

Recently, one of the feeds that I have categorized under the Productivity folder, Lifehacker, posted about ManicTime. ManicTime is an application that somewhat unobtrusively monitors your application usage and provides a report. You can tag time spans and use it to help figure out how you're using your time. It's great for someone like me that has to fill out a detaile time sheet at the end of the week.

Here's where the irony comes in. I installed this app on Tuesday. Since then, only one day (the first day) was Firefox not the top application by sheer volume of usage. I used Firefox for almost 30% of the time I was on my computer. The most time consuming thing I do in Firefox? Read articles fed to me via my RSS reader.

Fortunately I don't live in a fantasy land where average people are 100% attentive. If I did then I would think that something was seriously wrong with me. However, I do live in the real world and I think that 30% might be a little high. Sure, I do read trade-specific articles part of the time. I do have a business reason to have Firefox. Still, the primary reasons I go there are personal.

Now I have to figure out what to do, or if I should do anything. I'm not too worried about my productivity. I even amaze myself with my ability to meet or beat deadlines occasionally. I do wonder if lowering the noise might boost my productivity, at least in a way that would result in less overtime and more family time. Then again, if I take away my distractions during the day I may realize how boring and tedious my job is. I may stagnate and stifle my creativity. What to do? What to do?

I'm going to try to cut back. I think I need to push myself to improve this ratio. I at least owe it to myself to experiment and see if an extra 10% of my attention is worth the price.

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