[Apologies if you get the email twice. I just realized that I can only send email from my registered email address.]
I've been a lurker on this group for a while now. I am a PHD student at MIT; I work on the sociology
of technology. Right now, I am working on a project about how users (and organizations) use software
tools to manage their time and become more productive.
As most of
you might know, there is a great amount of talk these days
about how the internet has increased the "distractions" that we face in
our daily lives (and at work), and how it might be changing the way we
think (Nicholas Carr, for example). Yet, people are still able to focus
and block out the distractions using various strategies. One way of
dealing with distractions is to measure how time is spent every day - in
productive and non-productive activities - and then find ways to change
that behavior. Being a quantifier, I've tried that myself, as, I'm sure, have others in
I would be very interested to know the ways in which members of this
group have experimented with ways to make themselves more productive,
and the kinds of applications they have used and the kinds of data and
metrics they have found useful. (I've personally used Freedom,
Leechblock and RescueTime but there are a bunch of them out there.) I
don't just mean being productive at work but also, say, productive in
managing work and family time, or work and leisure time.
If you use any of these applications, and/or collected data about
how you use time in order to be more productive, please send me an email
(perhaps with some text on the kinds of strategies/applications that
you use, but this is completely optional). I would love to interview
you about your strategies as well as understand the role that different
software tools play in these.
I would prefer to interview you in person but I could even
call/Skype you if that is better. I promise not to take up too much of
your time: the interview will be about 45 minutes. Please feel free to
forward this email to others who you think might be interested, and let
me know if you have questions/suggestions/comments.
Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you,
Program in History, Anthropology and Science, Technology and Society, MIT