“Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule”

I just finished reading “Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule” by Paul Graham. It’s dead on. Here’s an excerpt:

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.

For someone on the maker’s schedule, having a meeting is like throwing an exception. It doesn’t merely cause you to switch from one task to another; it changes the mode in which you work.

Some stuff is similar to what I wrote about in April (“When should we meet?“), particularly his idea to set up office hours at the end of the day when you’re open to meeting with others so as not to break up a valuable stretch of working time.

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