Keeping an eye on me (productivity hack)

Do you find you get distracted by social media and wasting time on random things when you should really be building your life and providing for your family?

Some weeks I do. This week, however, I had a brilliant idea.

An idea to support me to keep focussed and to minimise my time wasted on social media and research and multitasking.

My thought was to get my computer to take a screen shot every 5 minutes or so and save it into a folder. I could then quickly flick through it at the end of the day and get an idea of how productive, or not, I’d actually been.

This isn’t for someone else to keep tabs on me, but for me to keep tabs on me.

I spent a while looking around for a solution (I’m on a mac), there were various ways I could do it with scripts then I found this program, Instantshot!.

I’ve set it up (in preferences) to start a few minutes after I turn my computer on and take a screen shot every 5 minutes.

The effect has been quite interesting and powerful. Just having the awareness of my online behaviour being monitored (by me) has me a lot more conscious of where and when I’m spending time.

All week I’ve been a lot more brutal and efficient with my Facebook time, a lot more efficient in looking at articles, and am catching myself more easily when I go into multitasking mode (I don’t usually got a lot substantial done when I go into this mode).

I’m sure there’s a program to do it for Windows (probably a lot easier to find).

It’s fascinating exercise, particularly when I look at it with the perspective of what I didn’t get finished that day.

It’s helping me be more honest with myself. I could up the stakes and give someone else, like my partner, access but that hasn't proved necessary so far.

My focus, and willingness to drive through tasks, has really ramped up since doing this.

Would love to know if this is useful for you too!