Level Up

By Patrick Kua

Level Up - Issue #148

#148・
156

issues

Subscribe to our newsletter

By subscribing, you agree with Revue’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and understand that Level Up will receive your email address.

Revue
 
 

Level Up

June 12 · Issue #148 · View online

Level Up delivers a curated newsletter for leaders in tech. A project by https://patkua.com. Ideal for busy people such as Tech Leads, Engineering Managers, VPs of Engineering, CTOs and more.


Coping with context switching
I was running an in person Tech Lead Masterclass this week and someone asked how to cope with context switching. Leaders tend to be more interrupted than individual contributors but often it is way more than necessary.
Here are some things that can help:
  • Set expectations - Interruptions might cause context switching because people may not know your preferences or how to get in touch. Communicate these in advance and set expectations. As an example, some people use their slack message to indicate when they will respond quicker to messages such as “Expect quick responses between 10-12 when I am on slack, otherwise I will respond to any direct messages by the end of the day” or “If you want to know where Project X is, please refer to the project status page for updates (providing link)”
  • Establish boundaries - If you are in a deep work topic and you accept an interruption from someone, you are also sending the message it’s okay to be interrupted and you train people that interruptions at any time are okay. Decide if this is the message you really want to send.
  • Batch related activities - I find there is excessive context switching across unrelated topics. You may not be able to escape many short 30 minute meetings but I find it much harder to context switching between an architecture review, an interview, a 1-1, a project update and back to an interview than grouping related activities like a set of interviews or 1-1s. Find out what works for you but try grouping related together to reduce high context switching.
  • Reserve focus time - Leaders also need to do deep work which might involve thinking, working on a document, presentation or other topic. These deep work activities can’t be fit into the small 5 or 10 minute blocks you find between meetings, so make time for this in advance. If you don’t, you’ll probably find you end up doing this in your own time (i.e evenings, weekends)
As a leader, you do want to make yourself available but it needs to be in balance. You will also need to have time and space for yourself. By taking the concept of servant leadership too far, you won’t have the best impact you can have as a leader.
Your challenge this week is to reflect on last week and see if you had excessive context switching and try one of the tips above to do reduce it.
Only a few more seats for the publicly scheduled Engineering Manager Essentials (Management track) training. More dates will be planned after European summer (on sale in Jul). Until then, consider using the summer time to level up your skills with self-paced courses at the http://techlead.academy

Leaders need to juggle a lot which can lead to significant context switching
Leaders need to juggle a lot which can lead to significant context switching
Sponsored Content
SavvyCal — Scheduling Software Everyone Will Love
Give your schedulers a calendar, not a list of time slots. Allow your engineering teammates to overlay their calendar on top of yours to easily find mutual availability.
Leadership
Not My Job
VMware President Sumit Dhawan on hiring, productivity and Zoom
When management went nuclear on an innocent engineer
Most-wanted soft skills for IT pros: CIOs share their recruiting tips
Only a few tickets left for the June cohort. Click the banner to find out more
Only a few tickets left for the June cohort. Click the banner to find out more
Tech
xMolecules – Architectural abstractions in code
The balance has shifted away from SPAs
Learnings from 5 years of tech startup code audits
Communication skills separate adequate leaders from great ones. Take this self guided online course to level up yours today.
Communication skills separate adequate leaders from great ones. Take this self guided online course to level up yours today.
Organisation & Processes
What is a 1x Engineer?
Why Gen Z workers are already so burned out - BBC Worklife
PwC's Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2022
Tweets of the Week
Be care of what you measure!
Abi Noda
Classic example of snake oil engineering metrics.

BlueOptima: "Our product empowers developers to demonstrate their value."

Engineers: "BlueOptima is selling objectivity around something that's subjective and management is buying into it."

Source: https://t.co/7yLPYbty8K
A great short reminder about a good policy 👇
Mario Platt #StandWithUkraine
Love this depiction of 3Cs of effective policies

Coherency - policies are aligned with goals
Congruency - instruments used are aligned with goals (coercive, suasion, marketing, financial)
Consistent - instruments remain aligned and re-calibrated often

⁦@_rsffhttps://t.co/jysrZeTVIm
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, send me feedback and share it with others!
Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Sign up for online interactive courses like Engineering Manager Essentials or Shortcut to Tech Leadership or check out self-paced courses at the Tech Lead Academy.
Did you enjoy this issue?
In order to unsubscribe, click here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany