Manager's schedule and creator's schedule


Posted by Steven

In the great book "Tools of Titans" by Tim Ferris, I read about manager’s schedule and creator's schedule. In this article, I explain the difference between both and how I use them.

A manager’s schedule has many appointments, often without breaks between them. It's hard to be on time for every meeting because of the lack of planned transition time between them. The day of a manager, often even the order and exact time of meetings, is dictated from other people he has to meet with.

A creator’s schedule does not have much appointments. Instead, wide stretches of time are available for undisturbed and concentrated work.

I proactively use both schedules. Everything management-related is concentrated on one day, Thursday, creating a maximal dense management schedule. Thursdays begin with a regular meeting with the customer of my main project, which lasts from early morning to lunch. After a transition back to the office, I try to be on time for a regular informative meeting of one of my coworkers. This usually ends around 2 p.m., leaving the whole afternoon for meetings with tech leads from other projects, coworkers of my team, the management staff and plain old coffee breaks with colleagues I don't get to see very much. Often, I top Thursday by meeting with friends in the late afternoon and visiting the local Java User Group for further information gathering and networking. Thursdays often are very exhausting, beginning around 7 a.m. and ending around 9 p.m. However, it's totally worth it. The results of Thursdays are a lot of decisions, necessary information and critical input / feedback that I need for the work I do at the rest of the week.

The other days, I try to maintain a creator’s schedule with vast stretches of time untouched by any appointment. Because I have all the decisions and information, I can crunch one task after the other. Usually, I have a A4-sized task list fully covered in ink at the end of the day, being the perfect basis for the next daily standup with my team. To enhance the effect of quite and undisturbed time, I often disconnect from Outlook, Skype, Slack and even mute my telephone. It's amazing how concentrated I get as soon as the Outlook-Icon disappears from my taskbar. My eye constantly scans this wicked little image for indication of new mails.

This separation of schedules gives me the best of both worlds of managers's and creator's schedule. Since I implemented this, I am vastly more productive.

TLDR

Try to use the difference between a manager’s schedule which has a lot of appointments and a creator’s schedule that leaves a lot of time for undisturbed work. Concentrating meetings on one day creates vast stretches of time in the rest of the week. Those can be used for concentrated, massive task- slaying.

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