Context Switches Per Day

Note to future self…

Ok so this note is about a quick experiment I am trying out to improve the structure of my calendar and the hopefully increase my level of focus.

We know that context switching is detrimental to productivity in pretty much any way you can measure it.* Up until now the way that I’ve combatted this is by blocking out big chunks of time in my calendar to do “deep work”. However, today while I was taking a shower (no joke) I taught:

What if instead of blocking out big chunks of time, I focus on limiting the amount of context switches I do per day. Every context switch would be a natural transition between blocks of time. The catch is that once I switch context from one task to the other I can’t go back to that task for the rest of the day. The purpose of this is to help make sure I exhaust all of my energy for each and every block of time. Why? Well, some times I get frustrated when something isn’t working so I switch context which gives me a false sense of increase in productivity.

Next Steps

I will be limiting my number of context switches to three per day for the next two weeks. That means that I have a total of 4 blocks of productive time throughout the day. If I feel any substantial improvement in my level of focus I will adopt into my daily routine.

Will report back with any updates.

That’s it. Now back to work…

*The literature on this evolves every day but a quick search will yield a number of studies backing up this claim.