Open tabs

When you are working do you have lots of tabs open on your internet browser? Do you bounce from place to place, forever cycling between them, or do you work through them in a logical order?

Don’t get me wrong there are times when you need those tabs all open, if you are comparing information, etc. When I go into my feedly I open up all the articles I want to read in the next 25 minutes and then go through them, commenting, clipping them if they are important or potentially useful, and closing them as I go. I only open up what I can deal with in the amount of time I have. This means that when I next open my browser I can get on with what I want to do, rather than see what I had there.

Every time I look at a browser and see those tabs they distract me from what I want to do – especially Twitter, Faceboook, Instagram, email etc etc etc. It is really easy to bounce between those in a never ending cycle. But of course this doesn’t really add value to my life in any great way, it certainly doesn’t help me to achieve my big project.

And of course this metaphor can be continued…..

  • what online courses are you signed up to that you don’t really have the time or inclination to complete, but you are still getting notifications for?
  • any creative projects that you keep meaning to do?
  • old blogs that really you don’t want to write any more?
  • obligations and commitments – family, community, work, etc – that you don’t want to do?

These all take up space – physically in terms of creative projects, but mentally for all of them. They all have an associated guilt with them, because you know you should be working on them, but you are not. Or do you them with resentment…. it ties back into to idea debt.

I recently decided I was going to focus on my writing and music. On Christmas Eve I finished the giant, man sized Star Wars quilt for my husband that I had started, ahem, two years ago. It was physically taking up space on the shelf in its project box, but also a lot of guilt. I have decided I am never doing any sewing again, aside from buttons and small tears in clothes that can be done by hand. I have given nearly all of my fabric away and am trying to figure out what to do with the rest and my nan’s ancient Singer sewing machine that I am fairly sure is made out of cast iron, or at least that is how it feels!

Knitting and crochet – I’m not going to do it again, so I am in the process of sorting out all the yarn, needles etc and I am going to give them to the local community knit ’n’ natter group.

I have an ebook that I have been working on for a while and to be honest it was all getting rather half hearted. I don’t want to throw it away as it is good work and I might come back to it at a later point, so I have decided to archieve it. It no longer appears when I open up Scrivener (the writing tool I use for projects longer than a blog post) and it is no longer taking up brain space as I have decided not to work on it. I will review it in six months.

That NaNoWriMo novel? Well I am in the process of going through the first draft and hope to have it polished and ready to do something with by the end of the year.

My flute? Well I’m still in the band and I’m working towards my grade 5. Then I will do my music theory and piano for a while, mainly as I want to be able to play and sing and have no idea how to play the piano.

But everything else? I have closed the tab and archived the project so it is there when I want to come back to it at a later date.

What open tabs do you have? Can you close any of them? In both a literal, on your computer sense, but also in things in your life?

Join the conversation


  1. I also keep many tabs open, especially when I am doing my discussion questions in my unis, because sometimes I am told to read a few articles and write comments on them. So, I leave the tabs on and save them in my Word Document. When I am finished with those articles, then I closed them. I leave my Tabs open for my Open University email and my regular email, because sometimes I get important messages that I want to read. My TMA02 is already marked and they want me to collect it, but I am nervous about me failing it. That is one of the reasons that I do not want to check my mark and I have left this tab closed for two days. Did you have this problem, when you were told that your TMAs were ready to collect?

  2. No I always want to get my marks as soon as possible and my husband is the same.

    There are times when I have lots of tabs open, but my point was it is too easy for us to keep going back through the same things again and again, taking up brain space.

    If you fail your TMA you will be able to retake it and your tutor will advise you on how to do this as well as where you went wrong and what to do right next time.

    Good luck with it Silvia, remember all the time you haven’t actually found out about it you will be worrying about it. That is waste energy, at least if you know you can get on and do something about it

  3. Jen, I checked my mark for my TMA02 and I received a Pass 4. It was not an easy assignment, but I did work hard on it and tried my best. I did ask for help and I got a professional proofreader online at the U.K to read my work. I emailed my marked assignment and my tutor’s comments to him just to notify what I need to improve on in my next assignment which is TMA03. I was educated in the Canadian system and they make everything too easy. That is one of the reasons why I was receiving such high marks in my written courses in Canada. Remember that I have only been studying at the Open University for 4 months and I am still new to this system. I will keep on working hard and try to get higher marks, but I passed both my TMA01 and TMA02.

  4. well done for passing, I know you were worried!

    There is a system to working with the OU and I’m sure you will get it figured out in the end. Keep on trying and remember to ask for help with your tutor

  5. I am sure that I will get use to the OU system. Remember that is my first year of studying there. I only be studying at the OU since last October. Did you study at the OU? Whenever I started a new institution like Intermediate school, high school, the University of Ottawa, and Algonquin College in Canada, I did not do that well in the first year. In the second year, I did much better, because I was getting more use to the system. In the end, I did end up passing and graduating from intermediate school, high school, the university of Ottawa, and Algonquin college. My tutor does give online tutorials and I always attend them and participate in them, because I find that they are very important. My next online tutorial in March 12th and he will be doing approaches to the TMA03. Of course, he does not give the assignment that we are suppose to be doing, but just other texts for us to analyse. I did print out my TMA01 and my TMA02 and my tutor’s comments just to see what I need to improve on. so that I can try to get a higher mark. I will not be doing a PhD, after I complete my Master’s degree in Classical Studies, because I find that a PhD goes on for too many years and it is a lot work and effort for nothing. After I finish my MA, I am intending to take some Open Learn and Future Learn short courses for free. My second choice on my list is to do the ‘Frozen Planet’, because I am very interested in the Arctic and Antarctica. You do not have to write an EMA. You can just do a quiz multiple times. You do not need even to have a scientific background to take this short course and you just need to do simple math like add, subtract, multiply, and divide. I will be doing those Open Learn and Future Learn short courses later. Now I am busy with my Master’s degree in Classical Studies. I will keep on trying and ask for help in my future assignments and get someone to proofread my work.

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