One Tab Rule

How to skyrocket your productivity

My desktop is full of distractions. This is how I managed to deal with them & increase my productivity.


I am the worst procrastinator you have ever heard of. I can spend 5 hours doing a simple task that, normally, would take 10 or 12 minutes. I am avoiding anything that can be avoided until last minute. Most of my university projects were given only few seconds before their absolutely final deadline.

Additionally to my natural habit of procrastination, I live with two devices that actually make the most in order to get me distracted: my laptop & my smartphone. Just count the numerous apps that every other minute are sending a notification:

  • email — 5 different email accounts are hard to manage
  • facebook — besides my personal account, I supervise, one way or another, 10 (ten!) different business pages
  • twitter — my personal account and 3 more twitter feeds
  • asana — magical tool for being always up to date with my tasks & to do’s
  • snapchat — guilty as charged
  • instagram — my feed is supercool, I really love it
  • whatsapp & viber — couldn’t live without these two magic IM apps
  • phonecalls/texts — some people are still old fashioned

However, I managed to make my productivity skyrocket over the last couple of months by following a very simple technique. *drumroll please*

I keep only one browser tab open.

Or, only one instance of the program I am working on; you get the drift.

Also, my mobile phone is on silent mode out of my sight. This way, even if someone’s calling me, I will not get distracted.

Yes, I am not a multitasker but, after these two months, I feel that this is a good thing. When I used to do everything at once, I was sending emails asking things that have already been answered or are simply too obvious.

Now, I don’t lose the big picture since I am fully focused on one task and my brain doesn’t think of the next task or the next email that I am going to answer. Consequently, the quality of my work has been vastly improved.

The other great benefit of keeping one browser tab open is that this specific task is being tackled so much faster. Being in the zone translates to finishing the task in 1/3 of the time it used to take.

Once the task has been completed, I give my self a hall pass and go check all my notifications: emails, Facebook, twitter, asana or anything else. Once I am done, I pick the next task and fully focus on it.

You should definitely try this trick out. A couple of months ago, it would take me an hour or two to write this article. Now, it took me only 30 minutes.

remember: keep only one browser tab open.

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