I have 350 tabs open, and I can’t fix it
Why you love distractions
My computer is cluttered. There are over 70 tabs per window, and I typically have 5 windows open. That’s 350 tabs.
And the number increases daily. 351. 354. 363. They just continue to grow. I continue to open tab after tab. I don’t like clutter, but I think that’s what my brain is. Every moment, there seems to be something new to look at. Something interesting. The latest Marvel movie, a new skill I’d like to learn, a cool writing system to implement. There’s always something shiny. Something, new.
The tabs merely reflect that. They reflect each thought of mine, spiraling out in different directions, moods, topics, the whole lot. At first, this seems rather insane. To act on every thought and interest. But it’s quite common:
You don’t want to wake up? Stay in bed.
You don’t feel like working today? Call it off.
You don’t want to read today? Watch Netflix.
Throughout our daily schedules, we act on several impulses. Temporary, fleeting, thoughts. Yet, so powerful that they change the entire course of a day, governing our schedules. Governing our lives.
We think, maybe we can ignore them. Stick to the plan and commit with discipline. The number of tabs, sick days, Netflix hours decrease. It seems like things might be turning around.
But then they come back again.
Stronger than the past. They have more to offer now. There’s more reason that compels you. And so we fall into the same trap. Ironically, we become creatures of habit, just the wrong ones.
Yet, even if I were to resist all the impulses, miraculously falling to none, something still lingers. “When does a thought become powerful enough to follow? When is the impulse more than just an impulse? How do I know if I’m just lazy, or tired?”
I think the answer to a thought’s power, is rather simple. An impulse, no matter how strong it may be, is always an impulse if it doesn’t occur again. If it does, it’s more than an impulse. It may be a desire or a habit. But it is not really an impulse.
Simply said, track the thoughts. Next time you want to stay in bed, skip work, watch Netflix, put a tally mark. See how frequent this thought really is. Does it really govern your life?
And if you notice the numbers rising, ask “Why? Why do I want to stay in bed, skip work, and watch Netflix?” See what lies there. Is it just a desire, or is it a problem? The answers may surprise you.