How long do you spend online?

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I’m realising as I get older that I place a huge value in growth, productivity and the pursuit to embetter oneself. I love everything related to productivity, how to really get good at it, to the psychology behind it and the simple small tweaks that can yield huge results.

I like measuring stuff. I’m known as the stats and data girl at church. I’m one of the few that cares about the numbers and the figures. I love to track and document different areas of my life. Here’s a list of things that I am currently tracking:

  • How fast I run and how often I’m running (currently really slow and not very much)
  • Where our finances are going (mostly into our bathroom at the mo attempting to turn the 64 year old taps off)
  • How many steps I walk each day
  • Which books I’m reading
  • How many days till I go on holiday (36 days!)
  • How many people read this blog (Basically my Mum & Ben)
  • How much sleep I’m getting
  • How many buds the orchid that I killed but resurrected had on it (8 and going strong!)
  • How many buds the orchid that I killed & resurrected has on it since I snapped the stem since I knocked it off the windowsill (umm…zero.)

We measure a load of different aspects of church life: attendance on Sunday, how many people are getting baptised, how many people are engaging in small groups, how many of our visitors returned to church and got stuck into our community…

You can better control an area, manage and promote growth in it if you begin to measure and track its progress – I’m sure you’ve heard the old management saying “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”.

On this stream of thought, I’m sure you’ve noticed the recent conversations about people spending too much time online and connected to their smart devices and the Internet. My husband took this to extreme and did a Blackout of devices during lent – you can read about it here. I discovered 2 tools that help me track how much time I’m spending on my devices and on the computer each day. They are:

Rescue Time – Rescue Time is an Add On that runs securely in the background on your computer and mobile devices. It tracks time spent on applications and websites, and gives you an accurate picture of your day. I love the reports that you get at the end of the day which gives you a percentage for how much of your time was spent on productive applications (Excel/Word etc) and less productive sites (Facebook/ BBC News). It gives you detailed reports and data based on your activity and also shows you your most productive hours and time slots. You can set alerts to let you know when you spend a certain amount of time on an activity and also block distracting websites. It’s given me a different perspective on my workday – I’ve learnt what hours of the day I’m most and least productive and can see which websites are my time drains.

Moment – Moment is an iOS app that automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone and iPad each day. The idea is that encourages you to live in the moment rather than attached to your devices. If you’re using your phone too much, you can set daily limits on yourself and be notified when you go over. You can even force yourself off your device when you’re over your limit. When I’m on for 15 minutes, I get an alert to tell me to get off my phone – this happens basically 5 times a day at the moment, but you can personalised it to fit your lifestyle. Apparently after installing the app, Moment users spend 25 minutes less on their phone per day than before. The average moment users use their phone for 71 minutes overall and mostly in the evening after 6.

I’ve been using these both for 3 or so months now and am finding I’m more conscious of the time I’m spending digitally.

Don’t spend so much time scrolling through other people’s moments that you miss out on creating your own.

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