Posted by on Jul 6, 2011 in Other, Time management | 2 comments

As I write this post, I currently have 9 tabs open in my browser. Do I need them all? Not really, but it seems it is always easier to open another tab than close one if I am not done with it completely. I also tend to use tabs to save webpages. Not a great practice, but I do it anyway. Having the ability to open multiple tabs is definitely a benefit, and can save time having to switch between many pages. But at what point does it become more of a time waster than a time saver?

The ability to have two or three tabs open at one time is great. You can compare products, use it to copy and paste, find out information from one site while using it for another, etc. It is much easier than having to switch between pages and requires less work by your computer. However, if you are like me, and commonly have 5+ pages open on a regular basis, then you are probably wasting more time than you are gaining.

The reason is that it takes more time to find what you want. Each time you switch tabs, you will have to search for the one you want. Not to mention that as you open more tabs, they get smaller, making it more difficult to tell what each one is. It also makes it easier to get side-tracked. You may accidentally open a tab you forgot about and start reading it, loosing track of what you were doing in the first place.

While the solution is simple (don’t open so many tabs), actually applying it is more difficult. I think you have to create a rule/habit. Make a rule that you won’t open more than 2-4 tabs at any one time. If you need to save something, then bookmark it and close the page. You will be able to work much more efficiently if you don’t have a bunch of pages to distract you.

I have closed all but two of my pages, and will try to keep it that way. Can you break the addition?

I am curious to everyone’s experience with browser tabs. How many do you keep open on average?