Maker days and manager days

The Farnam Street blog has a great post on maker days and manager days.

A manager’s job is to, well, manage other people and systems. The point is that their job revolves around organizing other people and making decisions. A manager’s day is, as a rule, sliced up into tiny slots, each with a specific purpose decided in advance. Many of those slots are used for meetings, calls, or emails. Managers don’t necessarily need the capacity for deep focus — they primarily need the ability to make fast, smart decisions.

A maker’s job is to create some form of tangible value. A maker’s schedule is made up of long blocks of time reserved for focusing on particular tasks, or the entire day might be devoted to one activity. Breaking their day up into slots of a few minutes each would be the equivalent of doing nothing.

The post is worth reading in full. To me, it inspires three questions –

  1. What percent of your job is maker versus manager? (University researchers tend to be >80% makers for example – while executives tend to be >80% managers)
  2. Is your schedule aligned percentages above?
  3. If not, how can you align it?

My approach in the past year involved organizing my week into maker days and manager days. I scheduled 2 maker days and expected to average around 1 maker day in reality (thanks to meetings).

But, as I head into the new working year, I’d like to be more thoughtful about this. So, here’s to that.