Through 2020, I built up an ornate system for tracking my time for both work and personal projects (like this one for reading). For most of 2021, I found this tracking really helpful.
I need to track my hours at work anyway, so using Timery and Shortcuts to automate much of this has been great. Having a strong sense of how long things take and ensuring good balance across projects are all benefits of time tracking.
For personal projects, though, I’ve been starting to feel a bit stressed by having a timer always running whenever I’m doing something, almost like I’m always in a race. At first, knowing how much time I was spending on particular things was great for my Year of the Tangible intention. This is well established now, and I haven’t been using the time reports for any personal projects. So, why am I creating anxiety for no benefit?
I’ve turned off all of my time tracking automations for personal projects. Despite some annoying bugs, ScreenTime is a good-enough replacement for keeping an eye on time spent on things like YouTube and social networking. A nice side benefit is that this also reduces the number of Shortcuts and other automation that I need to manage, allowing me to just enjoy my personal time.
Of course, I’ll keep tracking work projects, since the benefits far outweigh the costs there.