How to avoid being sucked into Wikipedia?
April 29, 2010 3:11 PM Subscribe
Being sucked into Wikipedia
keeps happening to me. What to do?
posted by grouse to computers & internet (12 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Occasionally there is something I need to look up on Wikipedia or through Google. While I am there I will often find other things I am interested in looking up, or that turn out to be necessary background for the first page. Pretty soon I have dozens of tabs open. It's not just totally random stuff; sometimes it is for my work and I really would be better off knowing whatever is in these pages, although it isn't necessarily my highest priority at the moment. I could make a note to look it up later, but I usually follow the Getting Things Done philosophy that something that only takes a couple of minutes is better done now rather than marked as a task, because once you take into account the amount of time spent prioritizing the task, looking at it every day, and so on, you would have spent more time if you had just done it in the first place. The problem is that some of these short "two-minute" tasks of reading a web page explode and create many others. Another problem is that I am reluctant to add new low-priority items to my task list because it so long already that I think I will never get to it (indeed, there is a low-priority item to look up dozens of things already) and I will have a nagging desire to look up whatever it is for the rest of the day.
I figure that MetaFilter is full of people who have this problem. Really the question is this: how to establish a balance of learning new and useful stuff while avoiding it stopping me from getting other work done for long periods? I'm looking mainly for suggestions on how to think about things and act on them differently, but if you have software suggestions (such as Firefox extensions to save a whole window full of tabs for later examination) I would appreciate them too.