Tag Archives: software

April 23, 2012, 12:43 pm

Monitoring Productivity Increases Productivity

Coffee helps too. Photo by Flickr user interpunct.

Recently, I read Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney, which I found to be a very enjoyable read. One of the things that resonated with me was the fact that in many experiments when they asked subjects to monitor their own behavior (such as eating or studying habits), that behavior improved. I’ve found this to be true for myself too. I used to keep a spreadsheet where I recorded my daily word count, and what papers I read. But at some point I got tired of keeping up with the spreadsheet and abandoned it entirely—and my writing and scholarly reading went down, too.

The book mentioned a program called RescueTime that will monitor how you spend your time on your computer automatically. You spend a…

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