Skip to main content

Monitor withdrawal

I often enough thought:

"I can only be productive, when I have multiple monitors in front of me."

But it is true? - There was no other way than to try it myself. I've been working with only one monitor for the last 3-4 weeks and I want to share my experience with you.

Before ...

I had started this experiment, I worked with at least 2 monitors. It was comfortable to have all this space to display various windows. Similar to a big house: if you have free space, you are going to fill it and this was almost every time the case. There was rarely a need to close a window, just move it somewhere else. This method raised the number of potential distractions and led to a messy digital work environment. But maybe the biggest point against this kind of workflow is that I feel dependent on having multiple monitors to be or feel productive.

Work or private: 1 monitor

You can imagine, my workflow had to change and in the end, it was easier than I thought. The 3 most noteworthy changes are that I close programs almost immediately if I don't need them anymore, I've discovered a lot of new shortcuts and I've got to know how to use virtual desktops. These 3 changes in my workflow helped me a lot to work more efficiently, regardless of the workstation I work on. I am going to publish some blog posts in which I describe in depth what shortcuts I often use and how virtual desktops work.

Most workplaces and remote sessions have only a single display available. It is great when you can stick to your work routine without any loss of speed or comfort. In fact it helped me to be more focused. There is less distraction and only the windows/ tasks on your single monitor are important.


I will keep my setup as it is with a single monitor. As I mentioned before, it is easier than I thought and I have never had a feeling of missing out or being less productive.

If you want to share your feedback, questions, or just want to reach out, feel free to contact me via Twitter or Mastodon.