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How to Declutter Browser Tabs (2024)

Updated: 5 days ago

How many browser tabs do you have open right now? Take a moment to count.


It's more than just an annoyance; it decreases your productivity and taxes your executive functions.

Welcome to Part I of Digital Declutter, a series of articles on organizing your digital space. In this post, we will learn how to clear your mind by clearing your browser tabs. 🧘🏾‍♀️


The Cost of Digital Clutter

On a stressful Monday morning, I opened my laptop to 27 browser tabs.


27...


I was already late to a Zoom meeting. The tabs were a reminder of how disorganized my digital life had become.


Cluttered spaces, whether physical or digital negatively impact our executive functions:


  • Increase our stress and anxiety levels

  • Make time management difficult

  • Steal our focus from important tasks.


Plus, it’s not even good for your computer’s health!


digital clutter adhd

The High Price of Too Many Tabs

If the thought of closing tabs makes you say, “No way! I could never!” you’re not alone.


Many of us hold onto tabs because we fear losing something important — whether it’s a YouTube video we can’t find again or work-related tabs that we might need to reopen.


But consider this: what’s the real cost of keeping all these tabs open?


Facing the Facts:


  • Losing a YouTube video is less disruptive than the time wasted switching between numerous tabs.

  • The embarrassment 😳 of having a messy browser when a coworker notices can be more damaging than reopening a few necessary tabs.

  • The stress from a cluttered workspace far outweighs the inconvenience of possibly losing some progress on your tasks.


A friend of mine recently followed this advice, and here’s what he experienced:


"After I closed out some old tabs that were giving me anxiety, it felt like I took a weight off my shoulders. Now, I can move on to the next task feeling lighter and more focused."

How to Declutter Browser Tabs

I’ve developed a simple yet effective method to declutter browser tabs. Here's how it works:


Essential Tabs Only 

I keep only three essential tabs open: Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Tutorbird. This improves how I manage time. I have quick access to my most-used sites without the clutter.


Limit Distractions

I make it a point not to keep social media or email constantly open. This significantly boosts my focus.


End-of-Day Cleanup 

Every evening, I close all tabs. It is a part of my Final 15. This helps my computer run better and gives me a fresh start every morning.


Pro tip: One Tab

If you can't work through the resistance and NEED to keep tabs, try One Tab. One Tab converts all of your tabs into a list, removing the clutter from your browser. When you need a tab from the list, you can restore them at once or individually.

OneTab icon to convert all of your tabs into a list. When you need to access the tabs again, you can either restore them individually or all at once.


Getting Started: Schedule Your Digital Declutter

Ready to organize your internet browser? Schedule a digital declutter session right now!


Find 10 minutes of white space in your calendar, title it “Digital Declutter,” and commit to it. When the time comes, play some music and begin closing unnecessary tabs.


Pro tip: bookmark sites you visit often for easy access in the future.


Summary

Tackling digital clutter may seem daunting, but the mental clarity and improved executive functioning it brings are worth the effort. By being intentional about what you keep open on your screen, you can transform a chaotic digital environment into a streamlined workspace that supports your best work.


If you’re curious about more tips on managing your digital life, check out my weekly newsletter.


Want to join our next cohort of Adult EF Skills 101?

We know adulting is HARD. It demands strong adult executive function skills. Luckily, we've made a LIVE course to cover the fundamentals so you can make the best of each day. We are currently accepting applications!


In this course, you will:


  • Learn how to plan your priorities 🎯

  • Learn to get started (task initiate) 🔨

  • Learn how to keep things tidy 🧺

  • Learn how to find and keep a job 👩‍💻

  • Learn how to communicate effectively 🗣️

  • Learn how to budget 🤑



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About the Author

Eric Kaufmann, M.Ed is a Professional Educational Therapist and Certified Executive Function Coach. He is the Co-founder of UpSkill Specialists, an online adult executive function coaching company designed to guide adults in overcoming disorganization, procrastination, and productivity roadblocks so they can unlock their potential. Eric is also the founder of Elevate Learning Solutions, an Educational Therapy practice located in San Clemente, CA, that guides students with neurological differences toward becoming independent and confident students and self-leaders.

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Upskill Specialists was founded when two former special education teachers turned executive function coaches decided that adults need tools and coaching to improve their workplace skills and feel confident and empowered. Our mission is to ensure every adult with EF challenges has access to high-quality coaching services. 

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