I have a confession to make: I am the king of tabbed browsing. I have the unique ability to crash any browser within minutes.
Click here and click there and suddenly there are countless tabs staring back.
I bet you know what I’m talking about, right?
For me, tabbed browsing is a lot like being an unsupervised kid in the candy store.
Instead of stuffing myself with sugary treats, I fill myself with information and content. Inevitably, this leads to a loss of focus.
Fed up with this pattern of frustration, I decided to give up tabbed browsing altogether.
I use Google Chrome, so I decided to use the extension called Tab-less which disables all tabbed browsing features. After using this tool for several months now, I can confidently state this approach has given me improved levels of focus as it allows me to be more intentional with my browsing habits.
I know this may sound extreme to some, but here’s the thing: I’m a collector. When I’m at work on a project, I try to collect as much helpful information as possible. I love to dig around and find the hidden gems on the web.
But this approach can quickly become a very sneaky form of procrastination. Steven Pressfield would even call it resistance.
That’s why in his fantastic book called Do The Work Pressfield says “You’re allowed to read three books on your subject. No more. I’m putting you on a diet.”
Research can feel like work. But it’s not the REAL work.
For me, saying goodbye to tabbed browsing is a way to give myself an intentional boundary.
I’m a rule breaker by nature, so I typically hate boundaries.
But boundaries are good and very healthy.
A page has edges. A book has a word count.
Without some form of boundary, a project rarely gets finished.
Not having tabbed browsing enabled is the boundary I need.
Now I must ask myself two key questions when I click on something:
1. Am I finished with this information?
2. Do I really need this information?
This makes me much more aware of what I’m doing and allows me to return to work in a much quicker fashion without a bunch of tabs stacked one after the other.
Now I must confess, I still leave more than one webpage open. Here’s a screenshot from the other day and I had six things open. I just use the window menu to switch between the browser windows. (The Mac automatically sorts any open windows alphabetically in the menu which is a very handy feature.)
Was this an easy transition for me? No, it wasn’t.
And maybe you have your tab browsing in control.
If so, that’s great.
The key is to minimize activities or tasks that you know drain your focus.
Pay attention to little things that deplete your focus and do something about them.
Want even more help with focus?
You can pick up my ebook Focus Booster. It’s full of practical tips for how you can improve your focus, boost your energy and make the most of your time.