Move to a Maker's Schedule and Get More Done!

I’m pretty conscious about my work rhythm these days. There is a lot to do in running a business and I welcome any way to do it more efficiently. Therefore, I found Y-Combinator advisor Paul Graham’s blog post about a Manager’s schedule vs. a Maker’s schedule very interesting.

There are two types of schedule, which I’ll call the manager’s schedule and the maker’s schedule. The manager’s schedule is for bosses. It’s embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. You can block off several hours for a single task if you need to, but by default you change what you’re doing every hour.
When you use time that way, it’s merely a practical problem to meet with someone. Find an open slot in your schedule, book them, and you’re done.
Most powerful people are on the manager’s schedule. It’s the schedule of command. But there’s another way of using time that’s common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can’t write or program well in units of an hour. That’s barely enough time to get started.
When you’re operating on the maker’s schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in. Plus you have to remember to go to the meeting. That’s no problem for someone on the manager’s schedule. There’s always something coming on the next hour; the only question is what. But when someone on the maker’s schedule has a meeting, they have to think about it.

I can fully relate with this. I struggle during the day with meetings, chasing prospects, visiting clients etc. One meeting at 10.30am pretty much kills my morning and as a result I started to batch book as many meetings as I can in one day to save as much time as possible.
In line with this article, I found out that a maker’s schedule is something I already use to get creative and do my design work, I’m basically running an hourly schedule during the day and at night, a free flowing schedule that is equivalent to a half (or ¾) day.
Furthermore, if I am lucky or block book my meetings well, I might get a free day to just focus on getting stuff created and done. I’ve yet to decide how well this type of schedule works in the long term, but so far it seems to get things done! Anyways I hope you enjoy the article.
Quote from Paul Graham.

1 Comment
  • Duncan

    May 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm Reply

    Blocking out half days is the way that I work. I didn’t know it was called a maker’s schedule.
    Learn something new every day and all that.

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