Using Twitter as a Focusing and Productivity Tool

I wrote recently about Social Media tools and whether they can aid and assist Realtors in selling homes and acquiring leads. I am skeptical of whether these tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, provide a sufficient return relative to the time invested in using them.

Well, I had enough feedback and counter-points offered to me in the blog comments posted and also in discussing this further with some friends and other agents that I decided to give it a whirl. So, I’ve been Twittering everything I do all week (within reason). I have some initial observations about the experience.

First, and most unexpected, is that this ridiculously stupid activity has caused me to become more focused in my daily tasks. How’s that?

Well, I do what I say I’ll do. It’s part of my mission to live a life of integrity, and paramount to that mission is that my actions match my words. So, if I Twitter that I’m “clearing my emails to zero inbox”, then that’s what I’m doing and I’m going to finish that task, because I said I would.

Before I posted my activities on Twitter, I’d simply sit down in front of the computer with the intention of clearing my emails, but would often get distracted or side tracked. Now, having “announced” my task at hand in some odd way focuses my effort in a way that was not anticipated. I’m sure there is a psychological explanation for this. And I doubt it is the mission of Twitter to help the world become more focused, but at present, this is the most notable result of my Twittering thus far. Twitter seems to be functioning for me, to some degree, as a “real time” public to-do list, to which I am able to more strictly adhere than ordinary task lists.

Next, though I have accumulated only 14 “followers” on Twitter, I’ve had 18 click-throughs on web links that I’ve posted with my twitter posts. None of these have tuned into leads, but 18 new website visitors is nevertheless a measurable and trackable result, no matter how small. Perhaps a year from now, should I choose to keep it up, I’ll have many more “followers”, and perhaps some of that traffic will translate into new leads. We’ll see.

Finally, my observation about producing the “tweets” is that it requires simply no measurable effort on my part. We’re talking about 15 seconds at the most, between tasks. Also, from my iPhone, I can post what I’m doing, which takes perhaps 30 seconds because of the slower typing. It’s amazing to become aware of how many 30 second dead zones one has in a day once there there is an activity available that can be accomplished in that short amount of time.

So, as pedantic and narcissistic as I find the entire concept of Twittering, I have to admit that my initial judgments were incomplete, and that, in the time spent thus far, I have not yet determined Twittering to be an activity entirely without merit. Since the effort required is of no consequence, and I haven’t ruled out the possibility of future upside, I will continue the experiment.

If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, click here and sign up.

3 thoughts on “Using Twitter as a Focusing and Productivity Tool”

  1. Steve,
    I’ve been doing some of the same research over the past week. Have found that twitter is not just about the tweet update, but about surrounding yourself with innteresting thinkers who share worthwhile conversation and the occassional “this is what i am doing tweet.” In the past week I have cross posted to facebook with twitter and various resources found there and through following link paths from twitter and it’s tweeters. It only took one day of posting worthwhile information to catch the attention of a long lost acquaintance from college who lives in another town, to ask me specifically if I could choose a listing and buying REALTOR for her inn Fort Worth.
    That was accomplished in one day of foucus (that I was ONLY able to have because I was home sick in bed and had the TIME it took to post creatively)….
    I’m still undecided for now…but have come across some great thinking tweeters!

  2. Steve,

    When I started Twitter I didn’t see it’s benefits either. I stuck with it and it had huge benefits!! I am following you now and look forward to your tweets! My twitter name is enaylor just so you know when you see me following 🙂 Thanks for the article, you always have such great content!



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