One of Y-Combinator founder Paul Graham’s most popular essays for startup founders is “Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule.” The basic premise is that tech startup founders, who have typically come from programming backgrounds, have to make a mental shift from a maker’s schedule to a manager’s schedule where more time is spent in meetings.
At some point, for example, Mark Zuckerberg had to transition away from spending most of his time making Facebook to managing Facebook. He had to spend most of his time in meetings rather than programming new code into the product.
To maintain a maker’s schedule, though, and avoid the interruptions of meetings all you need to do is think smart about how you manage your time during the day. Do what Graham does, for example, and block out “office hours” time on your calendar for meetings at the end of the day.
What about authors and solopreneurs?
There’s something missing with this approach for someone like me who works alone for themselves. We actually need three kinds of schedules in our days.
Maker’s Schedule – Write books, create products, develop talks, record videos, etc.
Marketer’s Schedule – Write email newsletters, post to social media, develop online ads, connect with influencers, etc.
Manager’s Schedule – Plan the day, set goals, answer emails, accounting, etc.
One might lump the maker’s schedule and the marketer’s scheduled together, but I find it is helpful to think of them separately. Otherwise, authors like me would spend almost all of our time writing and creating and not enough time getting discovered and connecting with our audiences.
The key is to look at your day or your week and make sure there is some balance. You can’t spend your entire day answering emails (manager) and not getting your word count in for the day (maker). You can’t find success writing book after book (maker), but never getting the book out in front of your potential readers (marketer).