If you regularly multi-task while you are working at your computer, but some of the applications you use require more horsepower than others to work effectively (for example using Adobe Photoshop along with Word or other less demanding programs), you may want to consider setting a custom priority for the high-demand applications.
Priority is how the operating system determines how to share the processor time among applications. Most applications default to the ‘normal’ priority, so by setting your high demand application higher, you can increase its performance when multitasking.
Follow this procedure to set priority for individual programs in XP
Load the program you wish to change the priority for.Now right click on task bar select Task Manager. Select the applications tab and highlight your program in this example i am using vmware server console. Right click the program and select ‘go to process.’
Now right click on the highlighted process and choose ‘set priority.’The higher you set the priority above normal, the more CPU time the program will steal from other applications when you are multitasking.