#HowIRescueTime: Jamaican Android Developer Joel Alexander Dean on breaking his social media habit

Over the past ten years, RescueTime has helped millions of people—from students to best-selling authors to top CEOs—understand how they spend their time, build better habits, and become more productive.

While we love to share our own advice and stories, we thought it was time to hear from you. 

In our new series, #HowIRescueTime, we talk to RescueTime users from around the world about how they use our tool to make more time for the things that matter most. 

Do you use RescueTime in a creative way? Or does using it allow you to have more time for the things you really love? Share your story on Twitter with the hashtag #HowIRescueTime—we’d love to feature you in a future installment!

Introducing: Joel Alexander Dean

Name: Joel Alexander Dean

Location: Kingston, Jamaica

Profession: Android and mobile developer

Joel Alexander Dean, a software engineer in Kingston, Jamaica has been using RescueTime for a year. During the day he specializes in mobile engineering and Android development:

“I help scale Android engineering teams for several US companies,” he says. “[And] I have several popular open-source libraries on Github that are used by developers all across the world.” 

When he’s not working, he loves to travel, workout, and visit new restaurants. We asked him what he’s learned about his working habits since he started using RescueTime (and, of course, about his favorite dishes). 

You can continue to follow Joel’s adventures on Instagram at @mrjoeldean.

How do you apply RescueTime to your daily life?

I use RescueTime to firstly block distracting websites. When I first enabled it I was pretty shocked at how much time social media was taking up in my days and how it was impacting my productivity.

Every few minutes I would break to check my Twitter feed not realizing that it was adding up to several hours each day. 

With RescueTime enabled, I am able to do focused work that removes the distraction.

Most recently, I have been setting goals to ensure I am completing a certain amount of hours each day writing code so I group all activities that are related to software engineering, so those can be tracked. 

Are there any specific RescueTime features that have helped you keep your focus?

Yes, I use FocusTime extensively, especially for one-hour intervals. I always enable it when I start to work and I see myself being distracted.  

Start FocusTime from your calendar
You can now schedule FocusTime sessions directly from your calendar using our latest integration.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned about yourself since you’ve started tracking your time? 

That I can focus and get a lot more work done once I have a tool to quantify the work I am doing and assist me in breaking the habit of constantly checking different social websites.  

What kind of music do you like to listen to when you’re really submerged in a focus session? Or maybe you prefer podcasts or silence?

I am a big fan of hip-hop music, so I listen to that in the background on most days. 

What do you love to do when you’re not working? 

I love fitness and bodybuilding, so I frequent the gym a lot. When I am not doing that I am doing the next best thing which is checking out new restaurants and traveling the world to share my joy for software engineering.

Do you have a favorite restaurant that you’ve discovered or an especially memorable dish or meal?

I really enjoy the Handmade Chicken Dumplings at Empire Restaurant & Lounge in Boston. They are to die for.

Do you use RescueTime in a creative way or does it allow you to have more time for the things you really love? Share your story with the hashtag #HowIRescueTime! 


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