Maker’s Schedule vs Manager’s Schedule

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.

How do we manage to advise so many startups on the maker’s schedule? By using the classic device for simulating the manager’s schedule within the maker’s: office hours. Several times a week I set aside a chunk of time to meet founders we’ve funded. These chunks of time are at the end of my working day, and I wrote a signup program that ensures all the appointments within a given set of office hours are clustered at the end.

When you’re operating on the manager’s schedule you can do something you’d never want to do on the maker’s: you can have speculative meetings. You can meet someone just to get to know one another.

I always enjoy a perspective on time management and productivity. The problem is often the absolutist positions and that one approach fits everyone.

In general, I like and follow the principles of the Maker’s schedule, which keeps larger blocks of time together during a work day. For most people, however, it is completely impractical, as well as impossible to have “office hours.”

While it’s just another opinion, I tend to try and batch all meetings in the morning or afternoon. Another approach is to try and do all calls, meetings, etc. on certain days instead of each day.