Maker’s Schedule vs. Manager’s Schedule

Y Combinator released a video entitled “How Future Billionaires Get Sh*t Done.” It’s a good one for founders. One of the things it touches on is time management. They reference a popular blog post Paul Graham wrote years ago titled “Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule.”

I like Paul’s characterization of a maker schedule versus a manager schedule. When you’re trying to do something hard, big blocks of uninterrupted time are critical. Any interruption, such as a meeting, can make the entire day unproductive. Half-day blocks make sense for people on a maker schedule. On the other hand, when you’re managing people, you meet a lot and work in thirty-minute or one-hour windows, stopping and starting often throughout the day.

When you’re an early-stage founder, you’ll have to do both. As a founder, switching between mental modes too often, I struggled before I eventually learned to use lunch as a natural separator. I was on a maker’s schedule before lunch and a manager’s schedule after.

Founders should consider the maker-versus-manager concept for themselves and their team. Getting people to understand it and adopt the right schedules can have a big impact on the company’s productivity!