This is a 2-for-1 post:
Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule (Paul Graham)
The Importance of Scheduling Nothing (Jeff Wiener)
I view Jeff’s post as a more nuanced take on Paul’s more dichotomous view of the world.
Paul makes a distinction between Maker’s schedule – uninterrupted large blocks of time needed for doing challenging creative work – and Manager’s schedule – consisting of 1-hour meeting blocks. He argues that people on Manager’s schedule who interact with people on Maker’s schedule need to be sensitive of that need and schedule meetings with them in a way that minimizes interruption to their schedule.
Jeff makes the observations that managers need to do work that aligns better to a more subtle version of a maker’s schedule: “As an organization scales, the role of its leadership needs to evolve and scale along with it. I’ve seen this evolution take place along at least two continuum: from problem solving to coaching and from tactical execution to thinking strategically. What both of these transitions require is time, and lots of it. Endlessly scheduling meeting on top of meeting and your time to get these things right evaporates.” Therefore, he intentionally schedules 30 to 90 mins blocks of “nothing” in his day used for catching his breath, processing what is going on around him and just thinking.
Personally, my need for more uninterrupted creative time grew very apparent recently. I know my most creative time is in the mornings and fortunately, since a large chunk of the company I work for is in a time zone 3 hours behind mine, most of my morning meetings are “self inflicted” (meetings I scheduled with other people). I’m going to try and make my mornings as meeting-free as possible and turn them into long “Maker’s schedule” blocks instead.