This is part of my Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work

Do you have 20 browser tabs open? Or 50? Many folks do, and each tab represents a loose end that hasn’t been tied up. All these loose ends are a constant distraction.

The solution? Close your browser tabs.

(And no, having 10 open windows with 5 tabs each is not the solution.)

Now, if you’re worried about losing something, you have a couple of options:

  1. Bookmark it and put it in a bookmarks folder
  2. Use a service like Pocket to track what you want to read later.

Personally, I have loads of bookmarks in numerous folders. Here’s my “Writing Tools” folder:


I also have a folder for work-related bookmarks, writing critique bookmarks, and dozens more. My browser keeps my bookmarks synchronized across my devices.

Bookmarking stuff sounds like a lot of work, but it’s really not. Here’s my routine: every morning, I go through my open tabs and bookmark the stuff I want to keep. Then I close all tabs except a few that are pinned, like my calendar and GitHub.

Closing tabs also frees up memory, and my computer runs faster.

Take action: Bookmark important pages and close your browser tabs.

Tech Workers' Guide To Distraction Free Work

Common Problems

  1. How Do I Stop Endlessly Researching Topics And Get Stuff Done?


  1. We Want To Be Distracted
  2. Proximity Matters

Practices: Just Say No

  1. Just say No
  2. Stop Looking For Drama
  3. Beware Of Taking On Extra Responsibility
  4. Make an “I won’t do” list

Practices: Say Yes

  1. Track your distractions
  2. Stay focused with a To Do list
  3. Make a “Big Rock” list
  4. Follow the 2-minute rule
  5. Try the Pomodoro Technique
  6. Make a list of questions

Practices: Control Your Physical Environment

  1. Find your Den of Productivity
  2. Eliminate distracting belongings
  3. Limit disruptive noise
  4. Listen to music
  5. Silence your phone

Practices: Control Your Digital Environment

  1. Close your email
  2. Leave social media
  3. Close your browser tabs
  4. Limit distractions from Slack
  5. Try an app blocker

Practices: Get Organized

  1. Make project documents

What do books say about distraction free work?

“You could try to pound your head against the wall and think of original ideas — or you can cheat by reading them in books.”
Patrick Collison

  1. “The Obstacle Is the Way” on handling distractions
  2. “The 4-Hour Workweek” on eliminating distractions