i did not like the default date time format

Default date/time in tray

to make it more readable like so

Custom date/time in tray

i enabled all options in the general tab of the clocks preferences

Clock system preferences

started up gnome configuration editor by running


there navigated to


and changed the key format to


and entered the following into the key custom_format

%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S

Gconf custom date format