Context shifting is when your attention moves focus, often triggered by an external event like an incoming email or a colleague passing by your office.

It can have detrimental effects on your focus and the quality of work, since it is often hard to move back instantly. There is Attention residue and there may be “open loops” from what you just saw that nags in the back of your mind.

Time management and more specifically timeblock planning is a way to reduce the amount of context shifting you experience during a typical workday. When you work on a single task at a time, the quality will improve dramatically.

As a common source of context shifting, a lot of authors are now arguing that we should reduce or completely stop using social media platforms so much. Your attention didn’t collapse. It was stolen and In the day of the postman argue this point, we need solitude and space to think.