Web Business Weekly #106

I’m reading a book right now that Dan Englander recommended to me: Algorithms to Live By.
It applies computer science principles to every day life, from productivity ideas through to how to arrange your wardrobe (and how to know what to throw out)
One thing that I found so relatable was the consequences of “context switching”. In human-speak that translates to “task switching” – like when you’re trying to do too many things at once.
When you run multiple tasks on your computer, the CPU has to switch between them because it can only process one thing at a time. Each task gets a slice of time. The time spent switching is called “context switching”.
As you cram more and more tasks into a CPU, the slice of time that each task gets is reduced. Overall performance slowly declines until a certain point.
At this point it catastrophically fails.
That’s because if you cram enough in, the CPU only has enough time to switch tasks before it’s time to switch again. In other words, the only thing it is doing is context switching.
This point is called “trashing”.
In the book, they draw a parallel to feeling a sense of panic or hyperactivity when you have so much stuff to do.
If you’ve ever had a moment where you wanted to stop doing everything just to have the chance to write down everything you were supposed to be doing, but couldn’t spare the time, you’ve thrashed.
And this hit very close to home to me. Lately I’ve been feeling like this almost daily. That isn’t healthy.
So to combat task switching and thrashing, I’ve been taking a step back and only choosing one or two major things I’m going to work on each day. Everything else is a bonus.
The result if feeling a lot more relaxed, and probably getting the same, if not more done.
Something to think about if you’re hitting that same hyperactivity/panic point just because you’ve got so much crap to do.

James Rose

James is the co-founder of Content Snare and Aktura Technology. Once a web designer, his new priority is to help web designers and developers regain their lives, work less and get better clients.

He does this by writing helpful posts, building software and working with web designers to deliver the complex web development that they don't normally handle.

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