There are 168 hours in each week. How do we find time for what matters most? Time management expert Laura Vanderkam studies how busy people spend their lives, and she’s discovered that many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while underestimating the time we have to ourselves. She offers a few practical strategies to help find more time for what matters to us, so we can “build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.”
Maker vs. Manager: How To Schedule For Your Productivity Style
Makers are individual contributors with a specific skillset: designers, developers, writers, etc. Managers coordinate projects, manage teams, develop their direct reports, and make sure their team is moving forward.
Each of these distinct designations require a different type of schedule. Optimizing for the wrong schedule can mean an annoying day of unending meetings when you really need to be heads down, or a lonely day trying to do work when really you need to be connecting with others on your team.
The maker’s schedule is comprised of long stretches of uninterrupted time. I repeat:
- Long: You should be able to block out however much time you need to get “in the zone.” Research shows it takes as long as 30 minutes for makers to hit that sweet spot of flow where things really start to happen.
- Uninterrupted: This is the key. No Slack…really, no Slack. No phone notifications. Nothing but the sheer pleasure of a cup of coffee and an empty screen.
- Stretches: You may need more than one in a day. For some people the key is something like the Pomodoro technique which drives you through multiple short stretches of time delegated to certain tasks.
How Larry Page’s Obsessions Became Google’s Business
People who have worked with Mr. Page say that he tries to guard his calendar, avoiding back-to-back meetings and leaving time to read, research and see new technologies that interest him.
.. Leslie Dewan, a nuclear engineer who founded a company that is trying to generate cheap electricity from nuclear waste, also had a brief conversation with Mr. Page at the Solve For X conference.
She said he questioned her on things like modular manufacturing and how to find the right employees.
“He doesn’t have a nuclear background, but he knew the right questions to ask,” said Dr. Dewan, chief executive of Transatomic Power. “‘Have you thought about approaching the manufacturing in this way?’ ‘Have you thought about the vertical integration of the company in this way?’ ‘Have you thought about training the work force this way?’ They weren’t nuclear physics questions, but they were extremely thoughtful ways to think about how we could structure the business.”