- The Maker’s Schedule Explained
Another great essay from Paul Graham of Y Combinator about the differences between “managers” and “makers” and how they schedule their day.
I’ve personally found that most non-makers are completely oblivious to how much having even short meetings during the day can disrupt our work process. I can’t remember where I read it (maybe Joel Spolsky) but I recall a discussion about how if it takes 15 or 30 minutes for a developer to “get in the zone”, a couple 15 second distractions can ruin a whole day of productivity.
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 find one meeting can sometimes affect a whole day. A meeting commonly blows at least half a day, by breaking up a morning or afternoon. But in addition there’s sometimes a cascading effect. If I know the afternoon is going to be broken up, I’m slightly less likely to start something ambitious in the morning. I know this may sound oversensitive, but if you’re a maker, think of your own case. Don’t your spirits rise at the thought of having an entire day free to work, with no appointments at all? Well, that means your spirits are correspondingly depressed when you don’t. And ambitious projects are by definition close to the limits of your capacity. A small decrease in morale is enough to kill them off.
On a related note, why in the world does Paul Graham not have an RSS feed for his essays?? Dave Winer needs to make that happen.