What are reasonable numbers for productivity pulse?

No one is 100% productive, and it's normal—and healthy—for productivity to ebb and flow. A variety of factors contribute to your Productivity Pulse and how it changes over time.

Are you running RescueTime only at work? Or at work and home, or on your phone/tablet, etc.?

People have many different contexts for the time they track which will cause the Productivity Pulse to display different patterns. For example, if you only use RescueTime at work, you probably won't see streaming services lowering your score. If you track both your work and non-work time, you should expect to see more entertainment represented. We don't want to push the idea that people should have a score of nearly 100 all the time—balance is critical. 

You might be running RescueTime on your work laptop, on a home computer that you only use for personal reasons, on your phone and on a tablet. Your overall Productivity Pulse may hover around 58, but you'll see that it rises and falls depending on the day or time of day. 

Are your activities well-covered by our default categorizations?

If a number of your activities are showing up as "uncategorized" and you don't categorize them, your productivity pulse will fall more towards the absolute middle of the scale (50). Please visit this page to see all your uncategorized activities.

Are you customizing scores and categories?

We do our best to provide good default scores, but we cannot fit everyone's situation perfectly. A great example of this is the person working in marketing who spends a lot of time on Facebook for their job. That would fall outside the criteria on which we base our default scores. If someone didn't update their scores to reflect this, their productivity pulse would have a much different baseline. 

How are you scoring your activities?

The productivity pulse is based on a value judgement by the user (or by our defaults) of how productive that activity is. It is something that tends to be very different from person to person. A great example is email. Many people consider email productive, as it is work. But email is also considered by many to be the number one distracting activity in a work environment. Your relationship with your inbox should determine whether you choose to view email as productive or distracting. 

So does this mean that the productivity pulse is meaningless?
No. It's an excellent tool for understanding your patterns and getting you to think about how you're spending your time. It's also a great motivator for the times that you want to be productive. For instance, the productivity pulse during nights and weekends isn't much more than interesting trivia. But if you filter that time to just "Monday-Friday 6am-8pm" you would get a better sense of how productive you are at work.
The other place where it comes in handy is with the use of our "daytimer" widgets. You can open the productivity pulse day timer and leave it open on a second monitor to give yourself a live-updating view of how your productivity pulse is changing. When you are actively trying to stay focused and get work done, you know you're doing a good job if the number rises. The browser plugins for Chrome and Firefox make something similar possible if you don't have the dedicated screen real estate available for the day timer window.
Another interesting way to use the productivity pulse is as a baseline to measure the results of other productivity efforts against. For instance, try limiting your email to a single daily session, as opposed to checking it repeatedly throughout the day. Many people report considerable boosts in productivity just by making that simple change. To see if a change makes a difference for you personally, you can compare current Productivity Pulse numbers to earlier scores.
And in the end, scores are just another way you can "hack" your brain to feel more motivated. Studies have repeatedly shown that having a score to "beat" makes people try harder and get less discouraged when working on a task. 
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