Need to Know Definitions



General activities are any/all activities that are not classified as meetings and/or communication.


Meetings include scheduled events on your calendar as well as impromptu video calls during the day.


Communication includes email (i.e. Gmail, Outlook, etc.), chat services (Slack, Mircosoft Teams, etc.), and any service that you rely on to communicate with others.

đź“ŠProductive Type

Focus Work

Focus Work includes activities that are high-impact and mentally demanding—work that normally requires long stretches of uninterrupted focus to complete. RescueTime pre-sorts which of your activities are Focus Work depending on the options you chose during onboarding, but you can always adjust what is categorized as Focus Work on the Activities page.

Other Work

Other work includes activities that are important but aren't as high-impact as Focus Work. These can be administrative tasks or things you consider necessary, but are not a part of your high-impact activities. 

Personal Activities 

Personal Activities are non-work activities that are great for taking breaks and recharging but can turn into distractions when you’re trying to focus.

đź“šOther Definitions 

A Shift

A shift indicates when you have switched from one of your work activities—either Focus Work or Other Work—to communication or a personal activity. Frequent shifting impacts your ability to focus.

Recharge Time

Recharge Time is the time you have indicated that you do not want to be working. You originally set this time through onboarding, and you can make changes to it in Settings.

A Focus Session

A Focus Session is a period of time you have dedicated to completing your most important work. During a Focus Session, RescueTime will automatically block your worst distractions—sites & apps—for the duration. At the end of each session, the Assistant will show you a report that includes how many times you shifted from your work, as well as how much time was spent on Focus Work during that session.

The Assistant

The Assistant is your desktop interface for interacting with RescueTime each day. It shows your progress towards your daily Focus Work goal, alerts you to upcoming meetings, manages your Focus Sessions and lets you know how well you’re working.

Focus Zone

A Focus Zone is a notification you receive when RescueTime detects an open of time in your schedule based on your calendar events. RescueTime considers this an optimal time to devote to Focus Work and/or start a Focus Session.

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