How to Rescue Lost Time

Do you find yourself constantly  time-drained, despite your best intentions to be productive on the computer? How much time are you really spending at the various sites or in various applications? Thanks to RescueTime, you can now keep track of what you are doing while you are on the computer.

RescueTime runs quietly in the background to keep track of how much time you are spending on various tasks. RescueTime automatically keeps track of the names of the running applications. You literally just set it to run upon start-up and that’s it! You view your time usage online by clicking on the Dashboard icon in your system tray, then clicking on Go to Dashboard… For tracking usage and time spent on the Internet, you install a plugin for your web browser. Note that even in incognito or private browsing mode that RescueTime will still keep track of the sites you visit. The online Dashboard control does give you the option to prevent logging adult-themed sites to avoid an potential embarrassment when you show your friends this cool, new toy you discovered.

Time Management at Its Easiest

RescueTime Daily Activities

The time spent is each application or website is automatically categorized by RescueTime (Software Development, Social Media, News & Opinion, Entertainment, Uncategorized, etc). You may edit each activity into a different category or give it a different name.

You can get more information on the specific activity by clicking on the bar graph for that activity, which brings up another screen, this one containing more details.







RescueTime specific activity detailsThe screenshot to the right shows in more detail when and for how long I spent time on YouTube. Notice how the bar graph is red, which denotes that the time spent is considered “entertainment. But what if YouTube is how you make your money because you are in marketing? Then, that time should have been considered as “very productive time”. You can edit the category by clicking on the Edit Activity button just below the graph.




RescueTime Edit Activity Dialog Box CategoryThe background dims, bringing you the following dialog box. Note that I was already in the process of changing the category from Entertainment : Video, having expanded the drop list to show the Marketing subcategory under Business.







RescueTime Edit Activity Dialog Box Productivity LevelNext, modify the Productivity Level setting so that you re-categorize your time as very productive.

All the features I just discussed are free! If you want to limit how much time you are spending each day, say on Netflix, you can do that, too by subscribing to their Premium account. With a Premium account, you can now block distracting sites if you find yourself spending more than your configured daily allotment. You get a bunch of other features, too, like tracking your offline activities, generating more detailed reports, and keeping track of your daily accomplishments.

RescueTime does keep track of your time usage on their servers but gives you the option to delete your data at any time, to delete specific logged activities, or to specify that RescueTime should not log that activity anymore.

So, get RescueTime today and start to better manage your time!

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  1. Brilliant– never knew something like this existed. Thank you so much. With max amount of time being spent in front of computers…Rescue time wud be of great use.. Thanks for sharing this via UBC 🙂
    Viyoma recently posted…The 3 MusketeersMy Profile

  2. This looks just like something I need, and it sounds like I’d be willing to get the premium version too. I do log my time manually, but that takes up time! Having something to do it for me automatically would be great. Thank you very much for sharing this.
    Alexandria Ingham recently posted…Does Your Freelance Blogger for Hire Have Enough Experience?My Profile

  3. Good read!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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