Four years ago I wrote about a great essay that Paul Graham had published way back in 2009 about two different kinds of schedules: the manager’s schedule and the maker’s schedule. Put differently, the manager’s schedule is one of command. It is for bosses to drop in for 15, 30, or 60 minutes at a time, say a bunch of things, and then jump to the next meeting.
The maker’s schedule, on the other hand, is one of doing, whether that be programming or working on an excel model. And the reality is that you can’t make or do much with only 15, 30, or 60 minutes. To make anything of real substance you need longer uninterrupted blocks of time. You need time to get into the zone.
I’m reminded of this dichotomy now, more than ever, because of video conferencing. It has never been easier to overload a calendar with meetings. Consequently, it has never been easier to screw up a maker’s schedule.