One year into this pandemic, I was feeling like every day really was Groundhog Day. I woke up, made coffee, sat at my desk and remained there until the sun went down. In New Hampshire, our sunset can be as early as 4:12PM and as late at 9:xx PM. In the Winter, it feels like you literally work from sunrise to sunset because you do. The pandemic had me feeling…not burnt out but in desperate need to assign a number or value to my efforts. It’s hard to measure output and that isn’t my intention but I really wanted to understand where my day was spent. I came across Timing. March 9th of 2021, I installed Timing and forked over $72 for their Professional plan. I didn’t need phone call tracking or multi-user / team support. I’m a bit surprised that the developer didn’t make ‘device sync’ a higher-tier feature as I would have paid for that. My Timing logs sync across multiple MacOS devices which is wonderful.
While not quite 1 year of data, I wanted to provide an update in a few images to show the value you can gleam. If you are billing out by the hour to clients, this is your standard (albeit native and beautiful) time-tracking app. You can assign things to many tags/categories/projects. It’s pretty wicked. I literally never touched a single thing except allowing this app many MacOS Security Privileges to track everything I was doing and to tell Timing to pause tracking after 1 minute of inactivity.
Maybe I should back up a bit. Time Trackers, well I used to use a paid app called Wakoopa back in the day. They struggled with finding a way to monetize my usage data and that of a few thousand others and they’ve pivoted to a similar but more creepy model – http://wakoopa.com. I checked Flickr and I did have a few Wakoopa Screenshots from back in 2009. It’s funny because it shows that time-tracking has been on my mind for ages and I was so bummed when their consumer product shut down.
Wakoopa circa 2009:
Lol, Twhirl, who remembers that? https://www.askdavetaylor.com/twhirl_twitterific_which_is_better_twitter/
Anyway, Timing has been helpful. Here are some things that it tells me that I find interesting since March of 2021:
- I spend 134 hours every month on a MacOS computer actively working or about 33.5 hours per week
- I spend 1600 hours every 12 months working or about 66 straight days. This obviously doesn’t count iOS time (iPad/iPhone) nor does it count times when I didn’t move my mouse or keyboard for 1 minute.
- 612 hours in Safari
- 280 hours in Mail
- 69 hours reading articles in my RSS reeder app (excludes IOS so double that as I prefer iPad to MacOS for reading)
- 33 Hours in Fantastical managing my very busy 12 hour a day calendar
- 32 hours editing videos in Final Cut Pro
- 28 hour editing Lightroom Photos
- 28 hours talking to people in Slack
- 7.5 hours in MarsEdit blogging (that can’t be right?)
No surprise but looking at my calendar year, my busiest months are April and June. Things tapered off from there. This is not at all surprising and will likely be mirrored in 2022. I have reasons that I won’t go into here but it relates to Snowbirds and Interns. Surprisingly, my December was much more involved than it should be for a holiday month. I didn’t take off a single day in December, even Christmas and it shows. Every year, I tell Heather that my Winter is a time for re-charging and every year, I’m a liar.
I did see the sharp drop off after Labor Day, again for reasons I know of but there’s no point in getting into here.
Timing says I’m only 64% productive and they recommend I adjust my productive ratings. Fine and I should do that so we can accurately capture 2022.
I’ll leave you with a few screenshots.
This is total Timing Log for 2021 (minus January and February):
This is the communication category for 2021:
And Business documents / productivity which isn’t quite 100% accurate but close. It’s missing a few applications:
While we’re not quite at a full year yet, I will be reporting in a year what the full 2022 looks like. I think we’ll all be surprised in 12 months how this comes out.