Why You Need to Dump Your Current Browser

Do you ever feel like your browser is working against you?

Whether it's constantly having to log in and out or having so many tabs open that you can't even tell which is which, can mean it's a real struggle to get the browser to do what you want it to.

It takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to deep work after a distraction

Maybe you even put tasks off at times because you don't have the energy to set up all the tabs you need to complete a task like updating social media accounts or QAing a new feature on your website. Task setup is mundane and time-consuming, plus it pulls your brain's attention from the task at hand to do the setup required to do it.

And research shows that's bad for productivity.

According to a UC Irvine study, it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to deep work after a distraction. And the browsers we've all grown up with are filled with distractions.

Context Switching, a concept developed by Gerald Weinberg, is another costly problem. It basically states that switching from one project to another costs you time. So if you are working on two things, they don't get 50% effort each. They only get 40% each and the extra 20% is lost to context switching. That's not good for productivity.

Ghost Browser was created with the idea of eliminating as much of the distractions and productivity loss from context switching as much as possible so that we can focus on deep work. This article will discuss some of the reasons why you need to dump your current browser and make Ghost your default browser.

If you are working on two things, they don't get 50% effort each. They only get 40% each and the extra 20% is lost to context switching. That's not good for productivity.

Focused Work Spaces Fight Tab Bloat

We know it's difficult to do work efficiently when we can't read the tabs in our browser. Yet we all know that we need a lot of tabs to do our jobs and do the research that we need to do.

Ghost lets you separate all of your tabs into dedicated Workspaces. That means you can still have all of your tabs available with one click, but you don't have to store all of your social media account tabs next to the tabs you use to test your website.

Fewer tabs not only mean that you can actually read the page title, but they also ensure you have everything you need in one place without constantly setting up your tab, inevitably leading to more tab bloat.

And that brings us to the next point...

Avoid Context Switching Penalties

Ideally, we'd all work on one thing each day so that the task gets 100% of our effort. That's not realistic though, for most people who work in the web - or anywhere. We have to switch contexts often to satisfy our boss, customers, family and everyone else we know

But we can - and at Ghost Browser, we do - help reduce the mental penalties that occur because of this context switching.

In Ghost Browser, with one click you can switch Workspaces and instantly have all of the tabs you need to complete a specific task - and only those tabs. No more opening new tabs and thinking of the exact URL path you need to type in. Jennifer, a long time Ghost Browser user reports saving around 30 minutes per day using Workspaces.

Even better, you will still be logged into the accounts you were logged into last time you worked in that Task so you can 'pick up where you left off'.

But you don't have to be logged in to just one account. Which brings us to our next point...

Avoid Logging in and Out

In our internal experiments, when using a password manager and when things go well (you have already entered the master password in your password manager, the credentials are still valid and you can find the specific credentials you need for the target account) it takes about 15-20 seconds to log in and out of Gmail.

Multiply that by how many times you do it over the course of the day. Gmail is a simple example, but if you are testing a multi-user website, you also have to then navigate from the page you were redirected to at login to the page that you need to work on.

Using Ghost Browser, Elisa reduced her workday from 10-11 hour days down to 8-9 hour days just from avoiding having to log into her clients' social media accounts. It's painful to think it was eating up 2 hours of her day just to log in and out of accounts.

That calculation is the hard cost of time.

But there are soft costs too - the mental taxation that happens from having to think about the login and navigation process rather than the task you were trying to do.

That's where Sessions and Identities come in. Ghost allows you to be logged into multiple accounts on the same website at the same time. All in one browser window. And slick color-coded tabs help you keep them separate.

So you're not only avoiding the mundane tasks of logging in and out - you get access to all of the tabs and accounts you need. With. One. Click.

Not All Distractions are Bad

Not all distractions are bad. In fact, the University of Melbourne has found that limited leisure browsing during the workday can improve worker productivity by 9%. And surely it will make you happier too! But checking your email dozens of times every day just traps you in the cycle of constantly having to regain your focus.

So we recommend dedicating a single Task in Ghost to your "Distractions". The Distractions Task can hold anything you consider to be a distraction. This usually starts with Facebook and Twitter and should include your favorite leisure blogs and websites.

You can have a 'Work Distractions' task too. Things like email, Slack, Project Management tools or anything else that gets frequent updates that can break your concentration should go in here.

Whether it's work distractions or leisure distractions, you'll know they are:

  1. Always accessible with one click
  2. Not getting in the way of your deep work.

Just the way it should be.

A Better Way to Tie This All Together

We went to surprisingly great lengths to improve the way you interface with your browser on the most basic of levels as well. We say it a lot here, in a not-so-eloquent, but very clear fashion: Tabs are stupid. We only use them because that's what's been shoved down our throats since the beginning.

Creating a sidebar in Chromium (the open source platform we use for Ghost) was not easy. In fact, the Chromium team won't do it, citing a desire for simplicity. It's a huge open source platform, so it makes sense.

But we wanted to implement simplicity, not for us, but for people who work in the web.

The Sidebar - Ghost BrowserThe sidebar gives you really quick access to all of your Workspaces and organizes your tabs by Session. Best of all you can actually see and read more of the title of your tabs!

Tabs were invented when monitors were more squarish. But screens are wider now and the big browsers have not adjusted. Luckily we have!

Are You Ready To Switch?

A lot of the press surrounding browser innovation these days talks about shaving tenths of seconds off of page load times. The 'Our browser is faster' debate is almost as stupid as tabs. What are they doing to make the people who use their browser faster? That's the important question and it's one we wrestle with every day.

Because, like you, we want to get on with the other things that matter in life. Like, health, family, friends, and fun.

Are you ready to join us? If so get started here. We can't wait to hear how Ghost Browser has improved your life.

 

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