Reduce Twitter’s Level Of Distraction While You Work

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Have you ever noticed how many messages on Twitter consist of users getting off Twitter to get work done? How many times have you done this yourself? Is Twitter one of your biggest distraction?

You’re not alone. Hundreds of Twitter users see these same messages flowing through their Twitter stream at all hours of the day. I am a victim to Twitter’s magnetic streams too.
Hello! My name is Corvida and I have an addiction to Twitter. Hello Corvida.

Twitter Can Disrupt Your Productivity

domino My workflow is often disrupted due to Twitter. It took me three hours to write a post yesterday because I was constantly trying to split my attention between Firefox and Twitter. To be honest, this is not going to work for anyone, especially if your Twitter stream is filled to the brim with conversations and great content. Best Solution: Exit Twitter, Exit your client,  Move on. Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. If you’re a blogger, this could be the toughest thing you ever do. There are more than a dozen great links that flow through Twitter everyday and you don’t want to miss them. However, you can’t catch them all and you shouldn’t worry about doing so. Think of it like this:
The sooner you finish your work, the sooner you can get back to Twitter.
If that’s still too much, then try the following tips to help you manage Twitter’s level of distraction while you work:
  • Turns off client sounds
  • Turn off notification pop-ups
  • Remove unnecessary followings
  • Limit the time you allow yourself to check Twitter
  • Length notification times

Managing Twitter’s Level of Distraction

distractedIf you’re using your web browser for checking Twitter, move on to the next paragraph. If you’re using a client for Twitter, the sounds they make can often help in bringing your attention back to Twitter. Turn them off and be sure to turn off notification pop-ups also if possible. If you don’t want to turn them off, you can go with the last tip and length the notification times. I currently have my Twitter client set to check my stream every 5 minutes or so. When I’m in work mode, I set it to 10 minutes or more if necessary. When it’s time to take your Twitter break, you may end up breaking longer than planned because you’re following so many people. Try going through your list of followings every now and then and cut out the ones that: a) haven’t updated in over 2 days, b) you hardly every notice when they tweet, c) They don’t follow you in return, and d) [insert any other reason you can think of]. Of course, there will be exceptions to this rule. To help with this process, I highly recommend Twitter Karma or Refollow. Twitter Karma shows you mutual friends, who’s just following you, and who you’re just following. It also gives you the options to mass follow and unfollow users. Refollow is another great Twitter relationship manager. When you take these breaks you should time yourself. It’s too easy to get sucked into Twitter conversations. Make a mental note of what time it is and when you’d like to get back to work. Set an alarm if you have to. Get your followers to participate (and get some @ replies) by asking them to remind you to get off at a certain time. Whatever it takes, stick to your time limit!

Twitter Down. Productivity Up!

Letting go of Twitter for long periods of time can be hard for some. There’s simply too much that we don’t want to miss. Nevertheless, when Twitter goes down, productivity goes up! What are some ways you manage your Twitter ADHD?
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  • http://smbeebe.wordpress.com smbeebe

    Excellent post! I like your examples of how to limit the twitter “distractions” and improve your productivity… nice! thank you!

  • http://www.jeffisageek.net/blog jeffisageek

    great suggestions…I know I just get away from twitter for awhile if I have something I must must do. I know all my messages will be there when i come back to it :)

    its a fun tool but you cant let it control your life.

  • http://elliottng.com elliottng

    Have you ever noticed the uncanny similarity between the alert sounds of Twirl and that of a slot machine or game show? Right, Twirl and Twitter is addictive like a slot machine–you keep pulling the lever to see what you get.

    I like the tip about setting the polling interview in Twirl to 10 min. Not sure I can get myself to do it but…

    I never understand your point about pruning Followed where the person hardly ever updates. Who cares? They aren't distracting you if they don't update.

  • http://InternetDuctTape.com engtech

    What works best is turning off the application (whatever it is). If you have to load the application, it provides a nice disincentive to goofing off.

    (says engtech as he's goofing off)

  • http://shegeeks.net Corvida

    You're right about the pruning, but you should prune those people
    regardless. I was trying to make a point about downsizing. Even the odd
    tweet or two can help increase Twitter's distraction level. That's 1-3 more
    tweets in your stream that you'll want to read.

  • http://www.sheysmith.com Shey

    Shutting down Twitter is the best way for me to get stuff done. Leaving Twhirl running in the background helps, but still slows me down.

    Thanks for the link to Twitter Karma, that makes managing my followings a lot easier!

  • http://www.centernetworks.com/10-mobile-photo-video-apps allen stern

    great post – this year I still believe time savers will win out over time wasters.

  • http://jeffd.vox.com jeff d

    It's always amazed me that so many people allow new technologies to dictate their actions instead of the other way.

    Twitter/cell phones/smart phones are tools, not necessities. I always pays to remember that.

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  • http://sospokesaroj.wordpress.com Saroj

    Nice post! I forgot that you could increase the time interval between tweet retrievals, so I just set Twitterfox to retrieve tweets every 15 min, from the previous 5. Your other tips are great too!

  • http://sospokesaroj.wordpress.com Saroj

    Nice post! I forgot that you could increase the time interval between tweet retrievals, so I just set Twitterfox to retrieve tweets every 15 min, from the previous 5. Your other tips are great too!

  • http://sospokesaroj.wordpress.com Saroj

    Nice post! I forgot that you could increase the time interval between tweet retrievals, so I just set Twitterfox to retrieve tweets every 15 min, from the previous 5. Your other tips are great too!

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