Minimalist Twitter

Now that I’ve started over with Twitter from scratch, how do I keep using it in a productive way without letting it take over my life? Careful time management. (If you don’t know what Twitter is, find out here.)

Twitter in 10 Minutes a Day

I once read that twitter can be used in 10 minutes a day. Putting that advice to use has proven to work for me. Since I’m trying to spend less time on my computer I figured that returning to this strategy would be a move in the right direction. It is easy enough to schedule 10 minutes during the day to spend on twitter, and then be done until the next day.

Even though I have downloaded and used TweetDeck, I find that I am more likely to stick to my time limit when I just use

The first 4 minutes

I spend the first 4 minutes checking messages that I have received. Either Direct Messages or @replies. Since these are the messages that are specifically intended for me, I feel that they deserve the first of my attention and a response.

The next 4 minutes

I then use the next 4 minutes to see what’s going on. I read other people’s tweets, retweet the ones that I like and generally get a feel for the trending topics. No, in 4 minutes I won’t see all of the tweets since the last time I checked, but as I scan through them I can read quite a bit (especially since I’ve drastically narrowed down the people that I am following) and pass on some good information to my followers.

The final 2 minutes

Now that I’ve gotten up to speed on what has happened since I last checked, I finally tweet about myself. This can include things that I’m doing (what I’m reading, which includes interesting links), adventures I’m taking part in, or interesting things that I’ve found (recipes, books, photos, etc). If I have a question, either for someone in particular or just for twitter in general, I will ask it now. When I have a product that I’m promoting, I can also carefully mention it now.

My 10 minutes is up

Since my 10 minutes has been spent, I’m done with twitter for the day. If I do decide to come back later in the day, I follow this same schedule, so that I don’t end up spending too much time on the site.

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