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Manager Time; Maker Time illustration: On the left, Manager Time shows someone in their office at their laptop, scheduling in meetings and calls throughout the day, neatly managing time with hourly and half-hourly slots in their calendar. On the right, Maker Time ideally does away with any scheduled meetings or calls to allow for an open day for our worker at their desk to grind through a complex problem or new project. The passing of time is only marked by day turning to night.

Manager time, maker time

In Manager Time a day is neatly sliced up into hourly chunks according to the calendar. Meeting someone is as easy as finding a free slot that coincides. You don’t have to worry too much about what you’ll be doing next as your calendar will tell you.

In Maker Time a day is an open book to get something hard and meaningful done. Even thinking when a meeting might be and remembering to go can distract from getting on with making. Long, uninterrupted chunks of time, not sliced and diced by meetings on the hour are ideal to make progress on hard problems and tackle something new. Even a single meeting in the middle of an afternoon can disrupt that long meaningful chunk into two that make it harder to tackle something big as you have to context switch and pick up where you left off.

Most modern offices operate on Manager Time. It’s great for meetings but comes at a cost for getting meaningful work done. If you’re a maker you may associate with the feeling that to get some real work done you feel you need to do it at the weekend, or in an evening after everyone’s gone home, when you’ll be free of interruptions.

If you’re a manager, consider your makers when you schedule your next meeting.

If you haven’t already, you should read the original article Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule, by Paul Graham from whom this excellent observation is from.

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