How we manage time

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Paul Graham offers a very interesting idea: That people tend to work either on a maker's schedule or a manager's schedule. Here's his description:

The manager's schedule is for bosses. It's embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. You can block off several hours for a single task if you need to, but by default you change what you're doing every hour...

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.

Pretty much all traditional conferences are arranged mainly on a manager's schedule, with sessions slotted in in a nice, orderly fashion. But for the makers in your audience, does this really provide a good schedule for learning? That's one problem that I often have: I go to a session, really get into it, take copious notes. Then it's over and, instead of being able to talk about it, put it into action, do something with it, I have to rush off to the next, usually completely unrelated session. I don't know if it's because I do work mainly on a maker's schedule, but this truncated way of scheduling makes it really hard for me to absorb much of any one thing.

Is it possible, or even desirable, to design meetings more in tune with maker's time?

Thanks to Jamie Notter and Johnnie Moore for the pointer to this excellent article.

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