Maker schedule

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One way for managers to get out of the way and to respect knowledge workers is the concept of maker schedules.

Managers usually schedule their own time in 30-minute increments (or less), and expect everyone to behave that way. On the other hand, people doing actual work build intellectual models in their mind, which are lost every time they context-switch, incurring a productivity loss colloquially said to be 5-20 minutes, while they reload and re-engage.

The idea of maker schedules is to allow those doing productive work to schedule 3 to 4 hours of uninterrupted work time per day, at a time they feel most productive. That’s about as long as the average knowledge worker can focus on sustained intellectual work in a day. And for managers to honour that. Managers should work around the scheduled work, not make everyone drop everything at a time that suits the manager.