I have being using RescueTime since 2000 with the only scope of getting an idea about how I waste my time on the computer.

Every week I get a HTML report telling me how many hours I worked, a report that also includes information regarding major categories like: time spent in terminal, websites, social sites and communication tools.

But the interesting use case appeared when my manager’s manager had the impression that I didn’t book all my non working days and sent me a list of days for which he “remembered” that I was not in the office, asking me to clarify if I was in vacation or if I worked remotely. The list spread across almost an entire year, so you can imagine that initial moment of panic.

Usually you could say that source code management history could give you some hints, but that doesn’t always work as you are not always doing pushes. Luckily, I remembered to look in my inbox for the weekly emails from RescueTime and forwarded them to him.

Sadly the company had a policy of not paying the overtime because I could have asked for some compensation in return. Let just say that my average productive time usually exceeds 40h.

The conclusion is that sometimes is good to have a big brother that records everything you do, as long you have access to the logged data. This saved me a considerable number of days.

There are also some other benefits associated: it can remind you when your are overworking yourself – something quite useful if you have workaholic tendencies.