I’ve had this topic a few times in the past week, around how I handled it and if I had any tips. I think there are several ways I’ve tried to handle this over time, and I’ve been partially successful or failed, but I’ve learned a few things about myself.
I’ve noticed that I need to switch but mostly on noncoding work, and also because of urgency on my mind. So what I need to do is to funnel my energy throughout my day proactively. Either by leaving my tasks for the next day ready at the end of the day or setting time for focus during the week.
With my public calendar, it’s hard sometimes to schedule time for myself, so I try to delegate tasks whenever possible, but since I’m not a manager. I need to work with managers to find an appropriate person and to help them tackle the job.
I would not want to dump work on people. I like to set them up for success. Whenever I’m involved in multiple programs, I prioritize for myself or use the Eisenhower Matrix to better work with the programs. Otherwise, for each of them, they’re priority number one.
The team engagement with me is another thing that I learned to manage on the one hand. As a staff engineer helping other engineers is one of the best use of my time, But on the other hand, not everything is urgent. And in that way, I cannot change my attention to each slack notification or email.
Over time I’ve also learned how to manage my calendar and energy to work on certain things to maximize my output. Because sometimes, I have time to deliver a particular item, but I don’t have the energy to tackle them. So I try to time box it with other related tasks.
Generally, I think there is a mix of understanding of how your brain works and how to engage with other teams that let you manage your schedule and energy to drive the best outcome.