Context Switching is Wasting Your Time

A life lesson from operating systems

Shivani Gandhi
Midform

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Photo by Joseph Greve on Unsplash

For my technical audience, you might know of context switching as the mechanism in OS that allows multiple processes to use a single CPU. Context switching stores the status of the ongoing process so that the process can be reloaded from the same point from where it was stopped.

Specifically, the state of the current process includes the information about the data that was stored in registers, the value of the program counter, and the stack pointer, all of which are necessary to be able to resume the old process from where it was stopped.

In other words imagine if context switching wasn’t an option, and you were taking notes in a word file. Each time you browse something on the web and switch back, you would have to rewrite all of the notes. Sounds pretty terrible and exhausting if you ask me.

Yet, so many of us context switch in our lives ALL THE TIME in hopes of being MORE productive. Let me explain.

Context switching in this case is paralleled with multitasking. From our personal lives to our careers we tend to take on too many things, often because we have to and can’t realistically live our lives having only one thing to do at a time. However, the problem arises when we are actually doing multiple things at the…

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Shivani Gandhi
Midform

I like abstracting life lessons from not so obvious places! I hope y'all enjoy! https://www.buymeacoffee.com/shivanigandhi