The perils of Context Switching for Product Managers

  • What are the perils of context switching
  • 5 step framework to minimize context switching & increase productivity

Perils of context switching 👎

  1. Drop-in productivity
    Susan Weinschenk in her article “The True Cost of Multi-Tasking” mentioned that — “ Each task switch might waste only 1/10th of a second, but if you do a lot of switching in a day it can add up to a loss of 40% of your productivity.”
    Since context switching is always so tempting and takes less than a second — it seems inexpensive at first to respond to a colleague's slack message instantly while finishing your PRD. Sum up all of these switches across a day, and you could be losing more than half of your productive time.
  2. Reduced effectiveness
    Multi-tasking for PMs also results in the reduced overall effectiveness of the tasks. You might have been able to attend to 10 tasks a day but your outcome related to each task will turn out to be of poor quality. Your PRDs might miss edge cases, your discussion with stakeholders will be incomplete and not convincing, and you will be entering into meetings unprepared. This will have a long-term impact on your overall effectiveness as a PM.

5 step framework to minimize context switching

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Rohit Verma

Rohit Verma

Senior Product Manager @AngelOne, ex-@Flipkart, @Cleartrip. Interests: Product, Technology, Strategy, Startups, Fintech & E-commerce!