Quarantine deFOMO challenge – Week 1

Idea and Approach

Idea

Starting of Mar 30th, I’ve decided to challenge myself to declutter my browsers (both desktop and mobile) and end up on Apr 30th with just 4 tabs opened in desktop and zero tabs in mobile. But what figures do I start with?

  • 782 tabs in desktop browser;
  • approx 200 tabs in mobile browser
    (actually, I don’t know the exact number – and looks like noone knows as well);
  • approx 200 articles saved to Pocket (I’ll save these for later)
782 tabs in desktop browser

Approach

  • I will not open any new tab neither in my mobile or desktop browser
    AND
  • I will not go to any new URL in my existing tabs
    AND
  • I will read and close down all the existing tabs from Mar 30 till Apr 30.

Results of Week 1

That wasn’t easy, but it’s Sunday night and I’ve managed to cut the initial 750+ desktop browser tabs (850 at some point of time during the week) down to 10; I haven’t touched the mobile browser, though. I’ve spent around 8 hours on that now, closing the browser tabs from left to right while saving ones I find useful to get back to them later.

How I changed the way I work

I see that I cannot stop opening new tabs as I need to google for something, etc. But I started doing these three things differently:

  1. Installed a Pomodoro-style notification blockers to both smartphone and iPad keep concentrated. These are general information hygiene helpers – I don’t distract from one task to another and almost don’t open new tabs.
  2. Started to think twice about do I really need to attend that webinar?
  3. Started to cut down tabs by putting some of them into specific Trello boards or a local file in order to get back to them later.

Observations

I’ve also found that there were some duplicated tabs, like two or three Asana app tabs, and some were from the websites which offer its own “save for later” feature (Facebook, Youtube).

I used to use Evernote for that earlier, but have switched to Trello boards in 2015. I have private boards for KM and other professional topics, and a personal board, with each of them having its own Backlog column. I put it as a list item into one of existing topic cards (for example, a KM board card called “Academia and theory” can have two lists of links called “General” and “Books”, the latter has links to books only).

I’ve finished 1st step – decluttering my desktop browser! Next week’s goal is to do the same with the mobile browser: that would be not that easier due to smartphone UX, but I believe I’ll manage that. Stay tuned!

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