“Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet.”Â – Anonymous
How often do you tell yourself: if only I could get that sales page or article written, Iâ€™d have more customers by now? Or, when you finally squeeze in some computer time for writing, does email and other Internet distractions drain your resolve to stay focused?
Fight Fire with Fire: Self-tracking Software to the Rescue
I recently discovered RescueTime, a new breed of software that has helped curb my tendency to click away from a hot project and get lost in the wilds of the web. Part of a new tech wave called auto-analytics, RescueTime arms you against digital intruders so you can get more done.
Just as Google Analytics gives you feedback on how your website is performing, an auto-analytics program like RescueTime shows you how youâ€™re performing. Which means how productively you spend your screen time.
â€œPeople are signing on in droves to this new technology,â€ H. James Wilson reports in his recent Wall Street Journal article. â€œSoftware like RescueTime measures things like how long you spend on an open window, how long you’re idle and how often you switch from one window to another.â€
â€œThe software turns all those measurements into charts so you can see where you’re spending your time, he adds. The result? Wilson says that tracking your online activities can lead to â€œbig improvements in performance, satisfaction and possibly even well-being.â€
A Healthy Addiction to Getting Things Done
I say Wilson is right. After installing RescueTime just a few weeks ago, I found my new fascination with tracking my computer time quickly paid off in increased productivity. I can also vouch for these immediate benefits:
1. Shuts out Internet noise so you can hear yourself think. RescueTime Pro has a Get-Focused feature that blocks distracting websites and cocoons you in a concentration zone where serious progress becomes possible.
2. Reveals your real habits. Numbers donâ€™t lie. If your early stats, like mine, chart a path of online meandering, those hard facts may be just the medicine you need to cure fractured attention.
3. Gives you an incentive to beat your last dayâ€™s stats. Wanting to outshine your last performance can push you to steamroll past online obstacles on your way to meatier accomplishments.
Best of all, using RescueTime boosts your morale. Thereâ€™s nothing more motivating than turning your writing intentions into finished work — and more business.
Try RescueTime Pro For Free
During November, RescueTime is offering a free trial for instant download. Although originally launched for NaNoWriMo, an annual novel-writing marathon, you donâ€™t have to be a budding novelist to enroll. Business writers are also welcome.
So, are you game to get more writing done this month? To sign up, click here. For tips on getting the most out of RescueTime Pro, check here for details on how to block distracting websites, set up a writing schedule and create productivity alerts.
Â© Copyright 2012 MaryLu Stefan. All rights reserved.