Posted by: draknor | September 8, 2011

My Three Tweets A Day

I have a confession to make… I’m a Twitter newbie!

I actually just signed up within the last month, when I attending the Forward Technology Festival in Madison, WI  and really saw Twitter being used for great & interesting things, such as sharing of useful information and quick dissemination of useful, relevant data (particularly at Madison BarCamp).  I’m one of those people who previously thought that Twitter was just filled with inane, useless information — which it is, but what I hadn’t realized are the useful tools & processes to screen out junk & still get the gems.

Side note — Brant Cooper (San Diego startup extraordinaire) recently wrote a great blog post on getting started using Twitter. He calls out 8 simple steps to getting the most of out of Twitter.

After I signed up, I started brainstorming ways to use it.  After all, no one really cares that I just ate a sandwich for lunch, right?  That’s not what I want to use Twitter for.  And it was about that time I ran across a great post Leo Babuta called The Best Procrastination Tip ever, which amounted to “Identify the most important thing you have to do today — and start it.”  Simple, yet brilliant!  Certainly not ground-breaking, but how many times have I had something I “wanted” to do (really, just wanted to have it done!), but couldn’t bring myself to do it?

Then the dots connected, because of another little tip I’d read to help motivation: make your commitments public.  And with an epiphany, I realized I needed to tweet at least once per day, about what my most important thing to do that day was.

My First Tweet of the Day: #priorityToday
After I wake up in the morning (and maybe start that cup of coffee), I spend a few moments thinking — “What is my most important thing to do today?”  I usually have a gazillion things I want to do, and at least a couple that I know I have to do.  But what is the thing that I really want to have accomplished by the end of the day?  And then I tweet it.  So not only have I made a conscious decision about what I want to have done by the end of the day, I’ve made a public commitment to doing it.

And don’t think you need a million followers for this to be effective – since I just started Twitter, I have very few followers (and I’m convinced some of those I do have are spam bots) — but that doesn’t matter. The point is I’ve still made the commitment (even if no one heard me), and that makes me want to follow through on it!

My Second Tweet of the Day: #priorityDone
Logically, then, my second tweet is after I have completed that thing!  What I’ve found useful here is to also give a moment’s reflection to the task that I just finished — do I have a follow-up?  Or is there some lesson or take-away for me here? For example, a recent #priorityToday tweet of mine was to do my monthly finance ritual (pay bills, etc).  After I finished that, I realized my spending last month was much greater than I planned for — and so I reflected that I will need to either cut my expenses or increase my income.

But good things come in three’s, and without even really thinking about it the third tweet I needed to make every day suddenly came to me — what am I thankful for this day?

My Third Tweet of the Day: #thankfulFor
Gratitude is key to living a successful, happy life — I’ve read this in more places than I can remember, but one of my favorites is The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I have a lot to be thankful for — and its worth spending a few moments at the end of the day reflecting on that, and tweeting about what, specifically, I am thankful for from this day.

And those are my three tweets a day.  Now of course I may tweet more, but these three are my most important.  I’m still developing this habit, but so far it’s been valuable in making me spend those precious few moments actually thinking about life — what’s important to me right now & what I’m thankful for right now.

My hope is that by doing this daily — these three simple tweets — that I will start to change my behavior. And its working — over the last week or so, I’ve found that most of my #priorityToday tweets ended up being things that I would wait until the end of the day to do.  Somehow, despite being the thing I had decided was most important, it often ended up being the last thing I did that day (and sometimes, I only ended up doing it because I had committed to it publicly and wanted to be able to tweet #priorityDone!) But today, finally writing this blog post became my #priorityToday and here I am, finishing it as one of the first things I’ve done today.  Ain’t progress grand? 🙂