Tabs: Destroyer of Worlds

Quick focus question: How many tabs do you have open?

And on another screen? And in another browser?

This isn’t one of those personality tests where I translate your total into a Tab Type that offers you insight and advice on living a richer, more successful life… or is it?


  •  If You Have Too Many Tabs: You’ve got a lot going on and no time to look back. Things are happening and you’ve got to keep up! There’s just no space to catch your breath. You’re a juggler.
  •  If You Have Just A Few Tabs: You keep your balance, weaving back and forth between past and present, with occasional forays into the future as opportunities arise. You’re a navigator.
  • If You Have Only One Tabs: (First of all… really? Okay, we’ll take your word for it.) You’re totally focused, diving deep into one subject at a time. You live in the present, knowing the past is already gone and the future hasn’t yet arrived. You’re a Zen master.


For many of us, our screens and our horizontal desktops get more and more cluttered as the day goes on. A bit of Facebook and online shopping here, a coffee cup and sticky note there… Suddenly, it’s a pile, and you’re fumbling your way through the day. I don’t need to pile on the stats to prove the point. You know it’s true.

The same thing happens to our lives. And, yes, to our surveys.


Focus Pocus

What’s the takeaway? Focus.

Maybe you can juggle lots of things at once, but it’s really hard to focus on more than one at a time. Pausing to breathe, prioritize, and plan lets you focus on what’s most important before moving on to the rest.

Maybe you want a lot of answers from your survey, but the more questions you ask, the harder it is for participants to make it through and the lower your response rates. Again, identifying priorities helps you narrow down to the need-to-know items and set aside the rest for now.

While raising your focus consciousness can have a huge impact on both your personal productivity and your survey success, start small: Take a breath, count your tabs, and take the first step in the right direction.