I mentioned it in passing before, but would like to make it explicit:
Closing every browser tab at the end of the day has had an inordinate positive impact on performance.
Likewise, I often have 4 or 5 books open, and strive to close those, and project plans, which I also look to close.
Leaving stuff open and sitting around means you don't start the day with a blank canvas to work with. It's easy to get pulled into whatever was left lying around.
It also makes it easier to leave things that are almost complete "...to finish tomorrow." But at what rate are things finished tomorrow? ...not high enough, for many of us. Much better to finish and wrap up today, even if a little fatigued.
I'm not dogmatic about it, though. The entry on my end-of-day routine looks like this:
Close Tabs (or justify it):
So there's room to leave things open, if I explain why I'm doing it. But if the worthwhile reason to leave things open persists for 3-4 days or more, then I just pull the trigger and close them out.
Somehow, the particular information on a tab often seems important to leave open. But, once closed even if it seems relevant, how often do I regret doing so?
Not very often. Less than 1% of the time, I think -- a few times per month at most. And that's more than compensated by having the extra mental energy and cognitive bandwidth freed up.
Try it out. It felt awkward to me for a while; it took about two weeks before it started feeling normal and like not-such-a-big-deal. But even during the acclimation period, the gains were obvious. Definitely recommended.
I use Pocket (getpocket.com) and diigo (diigo.com). Diigo is for reference material that I might need to search through later. Pocket is for reading stuff when I'm standing in line or something. I don't read "fun" articles (like cracked.com or The Onion) unless it's after 10PM.
Every Sunday, I go through my Pocket list and burn it to the ground. Everything added before that Sunday either gets read or gets deleted.
I began doing this last year, i think.
I justified it by going through and choosing what to add to my "Read Later" list. (I used Pocket.)
At the beginning of 2014, I entirely stopped the "Read Later" list as well.
I consume a lot less useless content because I have nowhere to store it. I either have to get this done now or never. And I'm lazy. It's often later or a skim.
It's incredibly helpful, although it is a bit inconvenient at times. It's not inconvenient enough to justify the alternative. I shudder to think of going back to actually saving tabs.
Hey, thanks for sharing that shortcut, Julien. I've been having some really bad task management hygiene lately, and I feel so much more relaxed now that I can't see all the icons on the top and bottom of the screen.
Maybe store the URLs in a bookmark list instead of closing the tabs right away? It does't get left open, but going throgh that folder can become an acceptable distraction
Nowadays I mostly use my web browser in fullscreen mode (F11) to tell me that I'm focused on this tab, single-tasking mode. It's usually when I'm reading something or browsing a website with a specific purpose in mind.
Slightly over a week ago, I committed to having the most productive 90 days of my life -- and sharing it all with you publicly. I wanted to make huge advances in my core projects, some large personal gains, and -- crucially -- I wanted to come out of this cycle feeling the strongest and healthiest of my life. So, more production than ever before, and being alive, engaged, and energized at the end of it instead of burnt out.
What's happening after one week?
Well, there's good and back. First, there's a strange "I'm being watched!" feeling which slightly increases neurosis/anxiety... and accountability. That's been the most unexpected thing -- a feeling of, "Is this an activity I'd want to own doing publicly with my time, after making a big massive commitment?"
I don't like or dislike it, per se. It's a bit odd. Actually, ok, I like it. (Most of the time!)
Before I start, I should warn any readers that this post is probably going to be a bit all over the place. Or not. I don't exactly know since that's just it - I don't exactly know. What I'm going to write I mean, I don't know what I'm going to write.
'Today is only one day'...a phrase I tell myself quite often. Whenever I have a bad day, or something happens - an argument, a moment of distance, a day without seeing someone I wanted to see. Its only one day, that's all. And I've lived so many days (5290 to be exact) and have a lot left to live, even today was a completely shitty day...its only one day.
In fact, even if I have a totally shitty week...well...that's just all it is. A shitty week. Doesn't define me or my life, just a little dip that I probably wont even remember in a few weeks time.
Its this constant thought that allows me to even bother with things. Whether that's a relationship with someone, a class in school I'm flunking, some drama with my friends, its just by playing down the trouble at hand that I manage to convince myself to try again tomorrow. Or better yet, to wake up with a more awake, new, less depressed take on the situation the next day.
Of course I'm not saying this always helps, my mind seems to find it very easily to twist my words against me or quietly whisper back my fears and worries in response to me trying to smile. Which can sometimes get to me, constantly being told a lie will allow you to believe that lie. However constantly being told you're only lying to yourself will make you distrust everything you say.