So here’s how I spent my time yesterday, courtesy of Rescue Time. This is a nice free program that keeps track of how you spend your computer time so you can identify times of greatest productivity, the distractions that get in your way, etc.

At first, of course, Rescue Time thought I was pretty unproductive, what with my spending all my time at blogs. When I clarified for it that I was writing during all that time, I ended up with a score of 83% productive.

What’s unproductive? Two hours spent on email. More than an hour spent on search — except that I’m working when I’m searching — it’s data for the stuff I write. 43 minutes on Skype.

Even if I consolidate all the research, though, and figure I’m a little more productive than it looks, I only spent just over four hours yesterday writing.

If I can cut back on email and Skype I’d free up gym time. Time for OLLI classes. Time to get more work done, even.

The McKinsey institute reckons we spend 28% of our work time on email, on average. If this were an eight hour day, I’d be below average.  The Washington Post has this to say on that:

If we all stopped using the “reply all” button except when absolutely necessary, I’d guess that alone might shed hours off the weekly tally. If everyone stopped responding to emails with an unnecessary “thanks” or “I got it,” email traffic would plummet simply because threads would come more quickly to their rightful ends.

I’m going to work on it.