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Makers, Don't Let Yourself Be Forced into the 'Manager Schedule'

The 'Carmacks&apos
the University of California
Buffer, Harrison Harnisch
Technical Lead
Co-Founder &

David Kushner
John Carmack
Paul Graham
Gloria Marks
Harrison Harnisch
Jason Fried



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The New York Times
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Building context can take hours, and context switching between communication and creative work only kills the quality of both.Being busy feels like work to us, but it’s not the work that needs to be done.In many companies, the choice that the makers face is that between caving to the managers and sacrificing their deep work time and productivity – or offending people.But there are smarter compromises.The first technique that Paul Graham recommends to simulate the manager’s schedule within the maker’s is “office hours”.Office hours are chunks of time that makers set aside for meetings, while the rest of the time they are free to go into a Do Not Disturb mode. Despite working in the same office, our team at Nuclino has converted nearly all of our meetings into asynchronously written reports.Not only does that preserve a detailed log – every meeting and project we've ever had is neatly documented – it also helps every team member have a say, properly express their thoughts, and absorb the input of others at a time and pace that is convenient for them.A lot of the interruptions happen because people have repetitive questions and can't find the answers on their own. None of these rules would work if the management fails to see that makers need to follow a different schedule – and to make an effort to respect it.The truth is, though there is a time and place for synchronous, instant, and face-to-face communication, that time is not all the time.

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