I tracked my phone usage for 30 days with RescueTime…

Do you ever wonder how much time you are spending on your phone each day?

Now there is a way you can track it. Download RescueTime (it’s a free app).

I was interested to see how much time I was actually spending looking at facebook, speaking to people and generally mucking around with my screen in my face, not being completely ‘present’ in my daily life.

Here are my results after 30 days (screenshot from the app):

Breakdown & explanations:

Daily average: 2 hours 32 minutes per day spent on my phone. Scary when you look at it like that but actually less than I was expecting. Here are the apps where I spent most of my time.

1st place

Voice call log (phone calls): 17 hours total = 34 minutes per day.

Not too bad really, just over 30 minutes per day. I’m pretty happy with that. Although it’s a sign I should spend more time calling my friends, family… and the Wife of course too 🙂

2nd place

Google Chrome: 6 hours total = 12 minutes per day.

I read a lot of blog posts and articles on my phone so I’m pretty happy with this coming in second. They are usually fairly educational pieces as well, talking about finance, health, the property market…

Who am I kidding, they are all about the NFL to be honest.

3rd place

Facebook Messenger 6 hours total = 12 minutes per day

This is now the way that people keep in touch with each other. I’m shocked that this has come in 3rd on the list though, very surprising.

4th place

Google Now: 5 hours total = 10 minutes per day

This is a news feed that brings up a list of articles that google believes may be of interest based on your browsing history (see below). I love it and use it all the time. As you can see – it’s all about NFL. Can you see a trend developing here?

5th Place (Equal)

Facebook: Coming in 5th equal is good old book-face at 4 hours over 30 days!

That is only 8 minutes per day. I am pretty darn stoked with that. Note: This only counts time spent on facebook on my phone. Not on my desktop.

Google Maps: Equal 5th place with 4 hours over 30 days.

I have been living in Auckland for the last 2 months and have been spending a lot of time in the car, driving around to meetings and events, trying not to get lost. What on earth did we ever do before Google Maps came along?

What’s next?

I must admit that just the mere fact of having downloaded this app made me particularly conscious of my phone usage. That in itself made me cut down my time on facebook and other social media over the last 30 days.

There could be some accuracy issues here too. I’m not doubting the usefulness of the app but I feel like those numbers above are surprisingly low. 2.5 hours per day still sounds like a lot though, when you consider that you are only awake for approx 16 of the 24 hours available in each day. That’s 15% of my awake time spent looking at a little tiny screen! “Shudders”

Note: I did some more research on this. Turns out the app only counts the time when you are interacting with your phone. If you leave it sitting on your desk with the screen still on that shouldn’t count.

In any case, I’m going to keep an eye on the numbers from now on and let it be a constant reminder to stay present as much as possible. I’ll keep turning the phone off on date nights, leaving it in the car when we go for walks with the dog and turning it off each night when we go to bed.

In conclusion…

I dare you to download the app and track your usage for the next 30 days! If nothing else it will make you mindful of how much time you really spend on productive activities and not so productive ones. It might also encourage you to put your phone away occasionally and just enjoy the moment – something I am constantly working on (and I still have a long way to go).

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