Have you ever heard the phrase context switching?
You may not have heard the phrase, but most likely you are guilty of doing it!
Do you often feel like you are doing too many things at once?
We all do. Pav*r explains…
What exactly is context switching?
Context switching is the act in which a person hops between different kinds of tasks while managing work. That can include using apps, social media sites, devices, or projects.
It’s perfectly normal to switch context. We all do it! However, when we spend a lot of time jumping between different tasks, we lose our focus, and lose out on the beauty of deep work.
Context switching eats up our time – it can cause low productivity at work, because productive time is lost to all of this distraction. We can find ourselves overwhelmed, unable to organize projects – and in turn, more stressed-out.
Context switching is one of the factors that affect productivity.
The Problem of Context Switching
Do you find that your days and nights are filled with visiting different apps? Are you busy with multiple project management?
Slack, Email, Google meets, Zoom, Notion, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Microsoft Word, task lists and more are wreaking havoc on our schedules.
It’s all just SO many portals to bounce around, entering and exiting. What happened to our attention span, right? It’s exhausting!
Context switching can:
Lost time and value
- Difficulty tracking multiple projects
Lead to personal burnout and drain
Switching around while trying to manage multiple projects kills our energy and depletes mental focus. This lowers our cognitive performance.
Is context switching the same as multitasking? Not exactly. Let’s break it down.
Context Switching versus Multitasking
Context switching is not multitasking, though most of us think it is. They can both have a negative impact.
What is context switching? Context switching is a situation where an individual is quickly moving between lots of different tasks and different items. The switching occurs when you are still in the middle of the current task. Often the initial task is left incomplete.
Then, what is multitasking? Multitasking is a situation where an individual is working on multiple projects simultaneously. The quality of the work can be affected, but all may be completed.
So how can we combat this jump task life? Pav*r takes a deep dive into solutions.
Combating Context Switching
The tools and technologies that we think are going to make our work day easier or faster, actually leave us disconnected. The cost of context switching is huge.
So, how can we fix this? Aren’t we all guilty of doing multiple things at once?
One way is to setting time blocking on our Google calendars with the Pav*r add on.
Here are some simple mind-shifts to give your day some structure:
1. Do not disturb: Utilize the do not disturb modes or calendar blocks for creating uninterrupted focused work. Many things affect productivity including time that is free from distractions. Combat the switch-cost effect.
2. Collaborate: Make the most of your teamwork on your Google calendar by creating team group calendars. This can allow you to easily divide up tasks and to find time to work together as a team. Using the calendar can help reduce the amount of time used on messaging platforms or email threads.
3. Integrate: Streamline your day and your schedule by using one app to cover the tasks of many, This will prevent switching. The Pav*r app allows you to streamline your Google calendar and thus, eliminating the need for so many portals/apps.
4. Collaborate: Make the most of your teamwork on your Google calendar by creating team group calendars. This can allow you to easily divide up tasks and to find time to work together as a team. Using the calendar can help reduce the amount of time used on messaging platforms or email threads.
5. Improve your time management: Set recurring work time blocks on your Google calendar to make sure that no time is wasted. This will also allow you to work in much needed breaks. The structure of the time context and time blocking on your calendar will limit distractions.
6. Embrace your coworkers: Host virtual working sessions with zoom or Google meet on your calendar – it allows you to easily send invites and to see responses in one clean place. Bye-bye to lone email threads and too many portals to check! Also, set aside sessions to connect with your workers. This allows you to look over your weekend to reflect where you are going and how far you’ve come!
7. Tool-up: Use the features on Pav*r that help you create instant spreadsheets and more to consolidate your work onto one source. This will make your information and communication flow better, and allow for more accessibility in a single calendar.
8. Prioritize: Prioritization helps you to stay engaged in your tasks. Decide what must be done and give that top priority. Use task lists for smaller tasks to be tackled in free-time.
We need to find ways to be free to focus: a total productivity system to achieve more by doing less. These steps can help.
Be brave and try new approaches. Does working less hours increase productivity for you? How does time management affect productivity for your team? How interruptions affect productivity in a day for your office?
Have real conversations with your team mates about tasks and how things could work best for them, too. Ask your team more questions, like: How would you handle a situation in which you had several different tasks/assignments? How is productivity affected when employees multitask?
Find real solutions together. Share calendars to see each other’s availability more clearly. Productivity is more about rhythm and less about speed. Focus on your goals as a team.
Stop Human Context Switching
We all realize that context switching is very much a part of all of our lives. To some degree, we can’t completely get rid of it. However, by taking some small steps, we can regain control over our day!
Life may sometimes feel like a series of a million portal doors, but we can set aside time on our calendars to allow for that distraction. AND we can eliminate as many of those doors as we can.
Take steps to control this constant battle for your time and attention by using our Pav*r app and Google calendar for simplifying scheduling, production meetings, setting work hours, and for protecting your time off.
Soon, you will enjoy a new peace of mind – through focused work and thoughtful planning, simplified.