How I explain Paul Graham's Maker schedule and Manager schedule without being insulting

How I explain Paul Graham’s Maker schedule and Manager schedule without being insulting

'Day [009]  Schedule.' photo (c) 2010, Sadie Hernandez - license: of Paul Graham’s most useful insights has been his Maker Schedule vs Manager Schedule. Go ahead and read the link if you’re not familiar with the concept.

It is

  • True
  • Useful
  • Deep
  • and very hard to explain to people without being insulting

By singleing yourself out as a “maker”, and hence on a “Maker Schedule” you run the serious risk of alienating all of your equally smart colleagues who have different interests and work responsibilities.  Coders, designers and artists will understand it immediately, but if you’re not one of those people it can sound like you’re putting yourself on a pedestal.

Remove Maker Schedule and Manager Schedule from the description

Just remove the job description, and substitute the noise that you’re making, which implies the type of work that you’re doing.

If you’re producing mouse clicks, you’re doing manager work, and you’re on a manager schedule.  If you’re producing keyboard clicks, you’re doing maker work, and you’re on a maker schedule.  The work is being labeled, not the person.  No one is categorized as “creative” or “business people”, it’s just the work you happen to be doing at the time.

I’ve found that people understand this instantly and intuitively.  No need to explain “Flow” or why interruptions cost so much time.  People can relate to the fact that (usually) work involving the keyboard just takes longer than work involving the mouse, and no one is inadvertently put down by being implicitly labeled.

That’s worked for me anyway.


Written By Steve French


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