Time Tracking with Twitter

At work recently we’ve been trying to get a better handle on how we use our time. My goal has been to document my time usage in 15 minute increments throughout the day. But, obviously this could quickly become a tedious task that is counter productive.

Yesterday I had an idea to simplify this task. I setup a new Twitter account specifically for this task. Then I downloaded a Twitter client and setup a cron entry to automatically open the twitter client every 15 minutes throughout my work day. So now documenting my work day is pretty unobtrusive. And if my coworkers ever want a glimpse of what I’m up to, they can simply subscribe to my Twitter feed.

I’ve been auditing my work time in a similar manner for the past couple of weeks and have found this extremely valuable. I’m finding 4 main benefits:

  1. I feel pressured to be more productive so I actually have something to include in my entries. It’s a kind of accountability.
  2. I can quickly review my week so that preparing status reports for management is easier.
  3. I’m seeing areas where I get bogged down and am unproductive, as well as times of day that I’m simply wasting time or goofing off.
  4. I have a historical log so that I can diagnose issues down the road. Lots of times we’ll see where one of our systems started having problems on a certain date or time; and now it’s easier to recall what might have changed during that particular time frame.

Have you ever found it useful to track your work and time in this much detail?

Do you have any other creative uses for Twitter.com?

Mac Tip – Better Screen Captures

Often times I need to grab a screen capture from my Mac. For years I’ve been doing a Command+Shift+3, which grabs a screen capture of my entire desktop.

But, I generally just want a screen capture of my current application window. Well, that’s still relatively easy… just do a Command+Shift+4, SpaceBar, and then click on the window you want to save.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? I’m trying to be teachable.

Here’s a link to some other basic OS X keyboard shortcuts.

What are some of your favorite keyboard shortcuts in Mac OS X?

Giant Crosses

So, I’ve seen 3 giant crosses along US interstates over the past couple of years. I’ve been curious about them and recently someone at church was talking about them. So, I decided it was time to find out about them. It turns out the one closest to my house is the tallest.

Effingham, IL

Groom, TX

Edmond, OK

Castro Valley, CA

And for a little context, the tallest cross in the world…
Valle de los CaĆ­dos

  • near Madrid, Spain
  • height: 500 ft 152.4-meters)
  • built: 1940-1959

Have you seen any of these in person OR do you know of other huge crosses like this?

Coming next… Colossal Statues of Jesus. (not really)