The maker’s schedule

I thought Paul Graham’s post – Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule was really interesting.

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…

I easily identify with the Maker’s schedule, I sometimes find just having a meeting scheduled for the afternoon introduces an element of anxiety to the morning, an element that I think makes me less effective.

One of the wisest observations I heard about human beings was related to pace. Someone explained that a huge number of dispute in relationships can be traced back to differences of pace. When you force a person to go too fast, or too slow, for their own comfort, you can trigger all sorts of behaviour that may be unhelpful. You can end up in thorny disputes about attitude or belief or god-knows-what and simply not notice that people like to process things at different speeds.

That’s my beef with presentations, which force an audience to learn at the presenter’s pace. It can be a crazy waste of people’s intelligence. Likewise, so many meeting formats seem to assume that everyone should arrive at particular stages of a thought process at the same time. Madness, like the proverbial number 9 bus coming three-at-a-time.

Hat tip: David Smith‘s daily feed.

UPDATE: Sue Pelletier makes a great point:

Pretty much all traditional conferences are arranged mainly on a manager’s schedule, with sessions slotted in in a nice, orderly fashion. But for the makers in your audience, does this really provide a good schedule for learning?

2 thoughts on “The maker’s schedule

  1. Robert Paterson

    Now I understand a lot of the conflict between my wife Robin and I – she is on Manager time. When she interrupts me – I sometimes lose the plot the whole day. She attributes this to my inability to multitask but now I see this as a “flow” issue.

    It’s like having a great dream – if you are awakened, you rarely get back there.

    Anyway today I have nothing in my diary and she is out golfing – heaven!

    Reply
  2. Paul Hannay

    I was just about to post the very same thing Robert!

    This is no small issue. It’s one of the key reasons my wife and I recently seperated. I simply got exhausted trying to keep up with her. It’s not a nice feeling to be permanently in catch-up mode.

    My natural pace is one of relaxed productivity.

    Great post Johnnie.

    Reply

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