Two-Tab Policy

For long, I used to have so many windows open on my Chrome browser that I was unable to shut down my laptop at night, sometimes, for months on end.

But why should that matter?

It matters because when there are a zillion windows open, they tempt and distract us. In fact, I realized that I used to often feel overwhelmed by these tabs.

About two years ago, I started experimenting with a ‘2-tab’ policy – at any given point, I allowed myself to keep only two tabs open. Even if I had to temporarily open more tabs (e.g., when doing some online research), I had to close the tabs as soon as possible.

It is hard for me to describe how much peace of mind this 2-tab policy brought me. Suddenly, the sense of overwhelm was gone and distractions plummeted.

However, implementing this policy feels hard – what if we want to refer to these tabs later?

In HabitStrong’s digital detox bootcamp, here are the two techniques we share:

1. Install the Chrome extension for an app called ‘Pocket’, and save all the interesting URLs in Pocket if you feel you might need them later.

2. For commonly used URLs, use the bookmark feature on Chrome.

These are simple ideas – nothing earth-shattering. And yet, they have enormously improved the quality of my focus.

As an added bonus, since I now shut down my laptops frequently, I can restart them more often. Three of my previous laptops died because I would not shut them down for months 🙁

Try out this 2-tab policy. It is a small change but anything big in life starts with something small. Just do it and see.

– Rajan

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