Open Tabs

My draft list of ideas to post includes seven items, none of which I have time for tonight.

Instead, I’ll regale you with a story of how many tabs I have open right now: 38 total.

I have 20 tabs in one window, which is exclusively for the research I’m doing for a client project. At least four of those are PDFs with more than 56 pages to read. And with an air-tight NDA, that’s about the most I can tell you.

I have 18 tabs in another window, which comprises my personal search results. This includes:
1. Some Bored Panda stuff for the reluctant little carpooling friend who’s scared to come over. I want to briber her with carefully curated content she can see and I can then send to her parents for an evening showing with her older brother.
2. Several Instructables, including kinetic arts and dragons’ egg
3. Recipes I know the kids will help me make and eat, like baked granola bowls for serving yogurt
4. A New Republic article on Updike that my buddy Matt Bucher linked to on the Twitters, the article itself representing not much more than my wish that somehow reading it will get someone to sponsor a conference so a nice group of us can have another dinner together.
5. Some FTP client file management tutorials including character encoding verification dialogs that made me cry when I read them, because foreign language
6. A Five Dials special issue memorializing David Foster Wallace
7. A Brain, Child article on introverts
8. Event website mounting a search for local half-marathons
9. Pinterest boards of emergency bags so I can remember to update our earthquake supplies and manually backup my computer

I need to close these tabs. I need to schedule email time and not respond outside those hours. I need to schedule some yoga time, too.

And I need to pull out a book, after closing those tabs.

Dozens of open tabs that signify all I *want* to be doing but clearly am not. Tabs that promise efficiency and productivity “if I just have five minutes…”

But maybe I really will attend to those pressing and compelling matters, the portals to which I’ve opened by the wonders of the Interwebs. I try the email thing first, before closing all the work I did to find those tabs in the first place. Because life is too short to throw away all your useful web searching time by closing valuable tabs.

And don’t tell me to Instapaper the pages, by the way. I never read the articles I save there.

How many tabs do you have open, and do you actually read them, or just spend weeks wanting to read them?


6 thoughts on “Open Tabs

  1. Oh. My. God.
    I have to meet you in person. I’m excited to know someone out there conceives of a task, performs a task, finishes that task, and ends that task before moving onto another.
    I’m not saying 30 tabs is normal.
    Not that 1 is abnormal.
    I just want to meet you.

  2. I only have three open right now, but that’s because my partner has a habit of getting on the computer, opening a new tab for herself and then CLOSING THE ENTIRE WINDOW when she’s done. I actually should thank her, but instead, I give her a hard time for getting rid of all the articles I’d been meaning to read for days.

    • I’m not a relationship expert, but I would seek couples’ counseling. Because that is CRIMINAL!
      Seriously, I would freak out. Open tabs are the new security blanket, and she just washed yours! ;-)

  3. The open tabs. The things I want to read. The must knows. The how can I keep ups. And then the real life of life. Dirty bathrooms, sticky kitchen floors, a meal that needs to be A REAL MEAL. Time management has to become my friend rather than time becoming my enemy.

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