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Browser as Workspace

You know procrastination is wrong. You know that you shouldn’t waste time on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit during working hours. How can you avoid distraction and create an environment that boosts productivity? One of the tips I’ve been practicing is using a separate browser for personal and professional workspaces.

You build a habit according to what you do under a specific environment. Your body will remember the temperature, sound, and the images while you’re doing something. If you always write under a dark environment, you’ll enter the writing mode every time your body experiences the similar environment. Likewise, if you watch videos during working hours, you’re telling your body to remember this new bad habit.

Having a separate browser for personal and professional tasks lets you build an environment with set of tools that align with your goals. You can, for example, install only the browser extensions related to works in professional workspace. This way you won’t be distracted by extensions that are made to please you in personal workspace.

Together with Safari and Chrome

I choose Safari as personal workspace and Google Chrome as professional workspace. I’m going to talk about why I choose these two browsers as my choice, and how it can help you become more productive.

Safari as Personal Workspace

Personal workspace is where I do tasks that are personal. Paying bills, checking out social networks, and research articles for this site. These activities happen in Safari — my default browser since 2010.

Once you embrace the Apple ecosystem, you’ll find that Safari is the browser closest to our life.

Handsoff and Continuity brings a seamless browsing experience between iPhone, iPad, and iMac. Save passwords in iCloud Keychain and access it from everywhere. Extensions are lightweight and useful. Declutter the web article with the gorgeous Reader Mode. With Safari 8 built-in support to play videos on most of the popular video sites, everyone can remove Adobe Flash Player entirely from the Mac and enjoy a longer battery life.

Google Chrome as Professional Workspace

There are many reasons to use Chrome as professional workspace, but the main reason is the built-in Adobe Flash Player support. Despite that Adobe Flash receives a bad reputation for consuming too much CPU power, they’re an essential plugin for most of the online services.

I don’t like Google tracking my personal online activities, but when it comes to professional online activities, I fully embrace Google as the sole provider for most of the services. The company I work uses Google Apps where we have a 30 GB storage for Gmail and Google Drive. The online collaboration happens in Google Drive where I save most of the documents from spreadsheets, presentations, and documents. You can also use Google Drive instead of Dropbox to sync other type of documents.

Browsing history, bookmarks, and extensions are synced automatically. This means I can customize the workspace once and work from everywhere as long I have Google Chrome installed.

You should always install extensions that help you to get things done in Google Chrome. Ban entertainment and fun extensions from getting into professional workspace. You want to shape a habit of getting things done the moment you open Google Chrome. Watch the videos in Safari if you want to take a quick rest.

This is a perspective from an employee who uses Google Apps. You can also employ this approach even if you’re a freelancer. Create a separate Google account for your professional works where you can remove distraction from your sight. Practice this approach for a few weeks and you’ll be able to enter working mode the moment you open Google Chrome.


It’s difficult enough to stay focused. Mixing the professional and personal space only increases the difficulty level. You’re going to exhaust more willpower to stay on the track. The truth is you have limited amount of willpower every day. Once you’ve used up the fuel, you’ll have to recharge it by taking a good night sleep.

Shape a habit by coming up with a productive environment. Your body will learn the signal and enter the mode you’ve configured automatically. A simple action of “Open Google Chrome” is enough to spend another productive day.