Like most of you, I too am hooked to twitter – it is such a simple but awesome medium where you can talk to, connect with like-minded people and listen to those who you appreciate. I signed up for Twitter on Jan 29, 2007 which makes me amongst the first Million users (725,553rd) on Twitter.
Well, like many of you, I too have realized that it does take a toll on my time and eventually my productivity. In my ever-happening experiment for self-disciplinary self-imposed habits, I’ve successfully conquered my craving and yearning to be on Twitter all the time just like I did with emails long back. Of course, I’ve improvised a lot with email management since – keeping is much leaner, simpler and minimal yet effective and acting on them in a timely manner.
Just like weening a baby of her mothers’ milk or of a drug addict from his drugs, there are withdrawal symptoms, sometime fits of sudden urge to “hell with it.” Here is how I did it, hoping that it will serve as a template for those who wish to get more things done other than tweeting. This may not work exactly for you, I urge you to try and mould your own rules to suit yours.
A Fallback Support – a leaner option to tweet.
You just can’t suddenly stop using something that you were used to regularly for quite a while. It will be easier to find a way to continue to tweet but reduce it gradually. Stop using your regular, ever-present client (Twitter, TweetDeck).
I replaced mine with Alfred’s Powerpack powered AlfredTweet. So, when I need to tweet a good article worth sharing or a funny thing that will make other people laugh, I tweet via AlfredTweet.
That way, I can tweet anytime but I have to summon an effort to look at the twitter streams by visiting twitter.com. I do visit twitter in the afternoon when I’m rather exhausted from my regular work. Twitter website is now very convenient and everything is there – who followed you, talked to you, mentioned you.
If you still happen to visit the twitter website more often, then that’s a problem on its own. There are plugins to help you block sites at specific time intervals. You can try them. Well, the idea here is to start your own disciplinary methods if you wish to do more productive work.
Avoid Tweeting Devices – to avoid tweeting while working.
Keep the tweeting devices (Phones, Tablets) away from easy reach while you’re working. If you need them for other work (testing, development), I suggest disabling/removing the clients that helps you tweet.
Tweet as much as you like when traveling, with friends and elsewhere where you can bend your frustration without affecting your work schedules. This should help you get over your guilt of not watching your tweet stream or tweeting while you were working.
And yeah, this may not apply to those where twitter is part of their work – social marketeer, sales – whose work includes watching for people’s reaction to their brands, talking to them, seeking help from them.
Next on my hit-list is Facebook. I’m not so bad with it but I want to reduce my time on it further. I’m also becoming a morning person – it’s always better to have “a long day” rather than “a long night.” I’ll write about it sometime – my routines, disciplines that I followed – once I become more confident and proves effective with the things happening around me.