How to use Twitter as a productivity tool

twitter productivity toolOk, so there’s been a lot of buzz around Twitter, the tool I previously thought to be so-so in terms of productivity. Well, I’ve started using it again and found that I may have been a little off in my initial review.

In case you’re not familiar with Twitter, it’s basically a tiny blogging tool designed for quick, one or two sentence updates on what you’re doing.  As if we really care about what you’re really doing throughout the entire day.

But I’ve started to see some pretty cool implementations as of late with businesses becoming more transparent, so I needed to see if there was something I was missing.  It turns out I missed something big.

Earlier I had no idea what to “twit”(?) about on my area. I had the obligatory “I’m testing twitter” and “I don’t know if I like twitter”, etc. etc.  No real usage for that, eh?

Yet if you become more focused about what you’re “twittering”  it actually helps serve as landmarks for your productivity. It helps you to become detailed and honest about what you’re really doing.

For example, if you take a look at what you’re working on at this exact moment and are truthful about it, you might realize that you’re not being as productive as you could be.  “I’m slacking off instead of filling out those forms” Remember, acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step to recovery ;)

There’s also something  about typing the words “I’m doing X right now” that really helps you stay focused and on that task.  For some reason it’s harder to lie to yourself when you’re typing it in published form.  (At least that’s how it is for me anyway.  I can’t speak for the rest of you compulsive liars ;-) )

So, if you’re just using Twitter to say “I’m petting my dog” or “now I’m burning the pot roast ‘cuz I was petting my dog”, then it’s definitely not going to give you anything in terms of productivity. But if you use Twitter to help you focus your sights on exactly what you’re doing (or should be doing) in an honest way, it can be a great little tool to keep you on task.

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  • Derek Ralston July 20, 2008, 12:35 am

    Great tip Glen, I hadn’t thought of using Twitter productively that way. But it seems like a good habit to adopt… It would be especially helpful for accountability when working from home and not being around coworkers.

  • glen January 26, 2007, 2:59 pm

    Glad to see another real-life example.

  • Hsien Lei January 26, 2007, 5:39 am

    I agree with you. I’m awful about keeping up with major household chores. Listing and checking them off on twitter helps keep me accountable. Sounds silly but it’s true!

  • Tom January 23, 2007, 9:38 pm

    I think this idea is so simple that it probably works great. It follows the same principal of personal accountability that makes fitday.com a great weight loss tool.