Time Management

How Am I Spending My Time?

At the start of the year, or close enough for this exercise, I installed an app called Time Sink by Many Tricks. I wanted to track which apps I was really using and for how long. For example, how much development time goes into Katalon Studio? How much time do I really spend writing in Scrivener? How much time do I spend parsing text in TextSoap?

Now I have some answers, and they’re pretty interesting. Of course, most of my time is spent in Firefox. Next, I use DevonThink and DevonAgent the most. It should be noted that days means 24 hour days, not an 8 hour business day. So using Firefox for 22.6 days means 528+ hours of actual time.

In some cases, the time is actually measured in time saved. For example, I’ve spend 15 hours in Keyboard Maestro, but I’ve saved myself 5 days worth of effort according to the Keyboard Maestro, About screen. I’m not going to argue that, I use Keyboard Maestro for dozens of jobs during the week.

It also seems I have a lot of duplicates to contend with. I’ve spent 18 hours in Gemini 2 trying to clean up my system. I’ll need to work on that for 2021.

It’s also interesting to make note of apps I’m not using. Are they not very good and need to be removed, or have I simply forget I have them? There are plenty of apps listed with less than 4 hours of usage for the year. Time to take inventory of what’s on the machine and make some decisions.

I will also note that two very heavily used tools aren’t listed, CopyLess and Mini Note. It’s probably because they are “menu bar” apps and don’t get tracked. But, I use both of them a dozens times a day and would be totally lost without them. They save me hours of extra work per month.

Here are a few observations.

Clearly, most of my time is spent in Firefox. I’ve spent nearly two months of the year viewing web pages. A lot of that is Jira.

TypeIt4Me has saved me and entire business week worth of time.
Keyboard Maestro has also saved me an entire week worth of time.
I’ve developed automation code in Katalon Studio for more than 3 days.

From a business standpoint, I’ve spent 8.6 days having conversations in Slack.
I’ve spent 5.5 days in Zoom meetings.
I’ve spent more than 4 days reading and sending emails.

I have to admit, I’m very impressed with the time savings of both TypeIt4Me and Keyboard Maestro. They really do allow me to get a ton of work done so I can move on to other tasks.

Home Machine
– FireFox 22.6 days
– DevonAgent 4.3 days
– DevonThink 3.2 days
– TextSoap 15:20 hours
– Keyboard Maestro 15:28 hours, saved 5 days
– Scrivener: 2.9 days
– TaskPaper: 16:25 hours
– Gemini 2 18:16 hours
– Mail 2.3 days
– Amberlight 1.2 days
– CodeRunner 10:23 hours
– LibreOffice 6:30 hours
– Katalon 5:11 hours
– TypeIt4Me 6 hours saved

Work Machine:
– Firefox 28.4 days
– TypeIt4Me 35 hours saved
– Keyboard Maestro 19:42 hours, saved 53 hours
– Slack 8.6 days
– Scrivener 4.3 days
– Mail 3.4 days
– Katalon Studio 3.3 days
– Valentina Studio 3.2 days
– DevonThink Office 2.2 days
– TaskPaper 1.4 days
– DevonAgent Pro 19:00 hours
– LibreOffice 18:20 hours
– Postman 17:55 hours
– Skim 11:28 hours
– CodeRunner 10:24 hours
– TextSoap 9:13 hours
– SnagIt 6:35 hours
– SnippetsLab 6:20 hours
– Zoom 5.5 days
– Alfred – Since Nov 5, 2019, Alfred has been used 3,492 times. Average 8.9 times per day.

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Tracking your progress, or lack thereof with Time Sink

Here is a neat little tool I have added to my bag of tricks. I’ve been curious about how I spend my time. What exactly am I working on during the day? Is it really taking that long? Or am I really getting it done that quickly?

Time Sink is an app that’s targeted toward tracking your time, or as the name implies, how you might be wasting your time.

Are you spending too much time reading mail, answering Slack messages, messing around with Twitter or Facebook, or trying to adjust your calendar?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or that you aren’t getting enough done in a day, Time Sink can break things down for you.

On the flip side, you can also use it to track your progress.

How many hours of training did you take on Udemy this month? How many hours of automation develop did you complete in Katalon? How much time did you spend testing that API? How much time it take to put that test plan together?

Time Sink is very easy to set up. In fact, by default it doesn’t need any configuration. Time Sink tracks the application in the foreground and logs how long it has been active. When you switch to another app, the timer tracking starts for that app.

Same goes for browsers and tabs. You can track Firefox or Chrome as the container app, then track how long a particular tab is open.

You can couple this with the option of Pools, which groups apps or tabs together. For example, you can track all tabs related to the Udemy site, or all StackOverflow tabs, so you can see how much time you spent on training or looking up information.

You can also group all your dev, writing, or graphics tools together so they get tracked as a project. Also very handy if you do contract work and charge by the hour.

It’s a very handy and useful app, but the best part? It’s only $5. Not $5 a month like so many apps and services charge these days. Just $5.


Time Sink – https://manytricks.com/timesink/

Other articles of interest:

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