Are you a maker or a manager?

I came across this great article recently about scheduling and time/project management. It divides the workplace into two types of people: “makers” and “managers.”

There are two types of schedule, which I’ll call the manager’s schedule and the maker’s schedule. The manager’s schedule is for bosses. It’s embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals … When you use time that way, it’s merely a practical problem to meet with someone. Find an open slot in your schedule, book them, and you’re done.

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.

The article crystallized something I’ve always felt and which I tried to capture in my advice in th book. When I worked at the PR firm it was always a huge ordeal trying to find a decent block of time in which to write. I’d get up super-early — like 4 am sometimes — and write before going into the office. Or I’d leave the office and take my laptop elsewhere. Even now I get perturbed when an audition or meeting comes up in the middle of the day.

I thought that was my own personal thing, and that maybe others could write in small slivers between phone calls and meetings. So it’s good to get that reassurance, and to understand that I’m a “maker.”

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