Yesterday’s post on being more productive in the morning reminded me of Paul Graham’s essay regarding manager versus maker time.
Paul’s simple point is that “doing work” requires a different type of mindset and workflow than “managing other people doing work”. Most programmers completely agree, so I encourage you to read his essay.
One of the points that complete resonates with me is:
…there’s [a] 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.
I couldn’t possibly agree with this more. I feel like in order to be maximally productive, I have to have at least a 3-hour chunk of completely uninterrupted time. And, sometimes that doesn’t even work…as Graham writes:
…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.
Rereading Graham’s essay is going to cause me to be more careful about scheduling meetings at Cheezburger.
Right now, we only have two types of meetings: an all-team meeting at Monday morning, and several daily standups for smaller project teams. Typically, those meetings are all held in the morning, and I’m going to work to keep them that way…perhaps designating the afternoon as “maker time”. Although, that is incongruent with the whole “morning people are more productive” idea, so maybe the key is to move the meetings earlier in the morning.
I’m not sure…what are your thoughts on this?