The Complete Computing Environment

Some Thoughts on Time Tracking

LifeTechEmacsTopicsArcology
(provide 'cce/org-time-tracking)

Org-mode provides extensive time-tracking capabilities, with analytics and an API for being able to quantify where time is being spent which can be of course composed with the rest of the powerful Org-mode query infrastructure. It's possible, nearly trivial, to be able to run reports for billing or for accountability. And therein lies the rub.

Let's consider the Luddites. A group of textile workers who feared that industrial automation would degrade the position of the worker. They believed that an increase in automation would allow skilled workers to be replaced with cheap workers. In a sense it's true that tools would drive down the minimum cost of goods, that it could be used as a lever to underemployee workers.

Yet, with guards in place, and with legal protections for workers speaking out against unsafe or unsound tools and policies, automation fundamentally enabled us to build the modern society. And I think it's fair to say that manufacturing and that industrial revolution was a boon to workers and society for a few years there, until the mid-70s. Long enough for "luddite" to gain pejorative, detached from meaning like caesar salad. Automation is a boon to the worker, or it can be, tools wielded well allow us to refine and hone a craft. Tools can be multiplicative, outputting more than the sum of their parts when designed well. Adding in the ability of human creativity to play with and explore those tools has allowed us to build an empire unique in our star sector if not our galaxy.1

In this document I am interested in one class of tool and its effect on people. I want to think clearly about why and how I set up my time tracking tool, and with that must come an exploration of why I should track my time, and the costs of inherent in doing so, along with the how of me doing: I am to accomplish a Goal or Hypergoal. This statement is implied in most places, but it's important to call out here because this is where I begin to make decisions about my ethics and begin to encode them in to my life.

In March 2020, I wrote in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic about the anxiety around Companies Going Digital and forcing bad tracking software on them. I began to sketch out an Ethic of personal time tracking software there, and now I want to come back to that.

I think that time tracking fits in well with the way I am modeling my Journal and I could combine them.

An entry almost always has a link to it, often multiple, and rarely has a body text.

I would love to be able to clock in to the journal and be able to compute timing statistics that coalesce across the Topic Files or something like that. Otherwise, clocking has to happen at the source, or at least imported in.

A Journal -> Project Task clock mover? This will be important when it's time to start billing clients or having a boss, especially if I want to stay independent.

Having a single-button to bring a text-entry in to the Journal is really good, <SPC>j, how can I leverage that?

And I need to have a concrete capture mobile story.

My Journal also should have a sqlite db for the Arcology; exposing Journal entries on Topic Files as social feeds has been a long-term goal of the system.

i need to ruminate on this a lot more

(use-package org-pomodoro
  :after org
  :custom
  (org-pomodoro-format "🍅~%s")
  (org-pomodoro-start-sound-p t)
  (org-pomodoro-long-break-sound "~/org/data/long-bell.mp3")
  (org-pomodoro-finished-sound "~/org/data/bell.mp3")
  (org-pomodoro-short-break-sound "~/org/data/bell.mp3")
  (org-pomodoro-start-sound "~/org/data/bell.mp3")
  (org-pomodoro-audio-player (executable-find "mpv")))
(with-eval-after-load 'org
  (setq org-clock-idle-time 30)
  (setq org-clock-into-drawer t)
  (setq org-log-into-drawer t)
  (setq org-log-state-notes-into-drawer t))

  1. That's not, of course, to understate the importance of culture and communication and agriculture and the countless ingredients that form the modern era. Top Five Human Inventions↩ī¸Ž