And what can you do about it?

Twitter may no longer the New Darling of Social Media. But it is still a very good tool for anyone who would like to build online relationships and stay connected to their circles in real time. Twitter is wonderful for people who use mobile phones to post their updates. AND for those of us who work behind a computer most days.  The big challenge, especially if you are in a position to be on Twitter for hours at a time, is BEING on Twitter for hours at a time.  Unless, of course that is part of your job.

I have 4 Twitter accounts and could spend entire days there searching, conversing and learning what’s happening in my own little world of people whom I follow. And nothing else in my life would get done.

Think about it, if you get really involved in conversations or reading what others are posting, searching for new people to follow or finding new apps you know that the time seems to fly by. May be why they use the little birdie as their logo???) *SMILE

If you have spent any time on Twitter recently you too know how addictive it can be. Because its free and the very nature of Twitter provides instant gratification, Twitter can downright disrupt any plans you have to get REAL WORK done. Or not.

I do have a confession. I spent 6 hours on Twitter one day without realizing it. You may have too. You know, you go on Twitter to post one or two things, maybe reply to people who have sent you a DM (Direct Message) or see what the top ten topics of the day are. And then it happens! You get all caught up in the moments (or hours) and pretty soon its time to get dressed or put you jammies on or eat dinner (or breakfast) and viola’. Ten hours later…..

Once I realized how much time had actually passed,I seriously thought about finding a Twitters Anonymous meeting or starting one. But that would take even more of my time. That did however prompt me to come up with a system to help me better manage and organize my social networking.

So I came up with a list of tips that work for me and I wanted to share them with you.

Heidi’s 12 Step Plan to Manage Your Time and Effectiveness on Twitter

Here’s a  twelve-step program for maximizing your time on Twitter. Each step has the 140 characters or less (BOLD) lead in and then the explanation following.

Step 1 ~ Know what you can and cannot change on Twitter. You can change your posts (before you post) and even trash them when you don’t like them. But you cannot change what others say about you. You can, however CONTROL what they say, by being considerate, kind and brief. That’s why 140 characters work so well. People have to be really succinct in their posts and replies. I think Twitter has made me a better writer.

Step 2 ~ Manage your twinterruptions. Interruptions include things that come into your inbox related to Twitter and not. Did you just read a great article about how someone has used Twitter to gain new clients, find new followers or some other tips that could help YOU too? Instead of reading it right then and there, put the email into a folder or somewhere in your email management system to refer to later at a scheduled time.

Step 3 ~ Make Twitter Time Your Time. Create a schedule and stick with it. We all have 24 hours in a day and hopefully sleep for a few of those. We need to schedule our Twitter time just as we schedule our work and play time. Even if Twitter is part of your work day, you will find yourself being much more effective when you put Twitter time on your schedule. This allows ideas to germinate and form that you can then share with your followers or implement once you do get on Twitter. The other thing it does is gives you more energy and focus so you don’t have distractions from the “outside world.”

Step 4 ~ Get up and move around. That’s right! Get out of your seat before you tweet! Sometimes I can look at my computer screen and cannot think of the next thing to say. Other than what I had for lunch (that’s a topic for another time). Walking around helps the creative juices flow freely and when you sit your butt back down, you are much more likely to come up with just the perfect phrase or content to write about next.

Step 5 ~ If you have notifications on auto pilot (such as Tweetdeck) dramatically reduce the notifications you receive. Or turn them off all together. There is a time and place to review your notifications and it’s probably not when you are having lunch with one of your best clients.

Step 6 ~Focus on the things you really NEED or WANT to know about. If you are following hundreds or thousands of people who don’t offer value or help you expand your mind and resources, you can do a couple of things. You can unfollow them (which will cut down on the type of conversations you would rather have in your spare time) or use a system like TweetDeck which allows you to multiple topics and people at one time. For more information on Tweetdeck read “All Your TweedDeck Questions Answered by Richard Barley.”

Step 7 ~ Make a List before you login to Twitter for the day. Write down or at least think about what you want to accomplish before you login to Twitter. This will help you focus better and spend more quality time online. I write a daily list of articles to posts, people I want to connect with and topics I’d like to learn more about and share with my followers. This is also a great way to increase your followers because they become familiar with what you are all about and look forward to what you say. I have a folder in my outlook where I save everything I want to share on Twitter. Its also a great way to build content to share.

Step 8 ~ Use #Hastags to easily locate topics you are interested in following. An easy way to follow your favorite hashtags is to go to, and enter your tag into the search box.

Step 9 ~ Set the Alarm when you Twitter. Because of Twitter’s addictive nature, if you set the alarm and decide how much time you want to spend on Twitter you are more likely to pay attention when it goes off. Unless you do what I do and Ignore it!

Step 10 ~ As with any 12 step program, we need “sponsors” others we look up to that are achieving what we want to achieve. Help others help themselves. My philosophy is to live, learn and pass it on.

Step 11 ~ Stick with your plan. If you know what you want to get out of Twitter, it is much easier to do this. It’s also easier said than done. We are human and we love conversing with others. But if you want to really make Twitter work for you, don’t allow your involvement to stray from your bigger goals.

Step 12 ~ Share these 12 Steps to Managing Twitter Addiction with others. When you find a good resource and share it with your followers you become a hero – or at least quotable (retweeted). So pls RT!

BTW, is it time to find a Twitter Anonymous Meeting?

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