— 3 min read

We've already established that everyone dislikes inefficient team meetings. But did you know there are 2 different perspectives your team might have on meetings?

team meetings

Here is a food for the brain by start-up investor Paul Graham discussing maker's schedule and manager's schedule.

You see, the professionals can be divided into 2 groups: the "makers" and the "managers".

Managers are the ones that run the show. According to Graham, their schedule is like a traditional appointment book. Each day is cut into 1 hour work intervals and by default you change what you're doing every hour. Therefore, meetings for managers is often just a matter of finding an open slot in the schedule.

The makers, on the other hand, use their time in units of half a day. An hour for them is barely a time to get ready and get started. You can't write, code, design something well in units of an hour. So, needless to say, when you are operating with such a schedule, meetings are a disaster. As Graham puts it, meeting is like throwing an exception, it changes the mode in which you work.

That's why meetings are way more costly for makers. They affect the whole day, breaking up their mornings or afternoons. What is more, there is a cascading effect. In Grahams words, if you know the afternoon is going to be broken up, you're less likely to start something new and ambitious in the morning.

And all hell breaks loose when these two schedules meet. Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the picture. These two schedules are not meant to work in sync. So, when you have a lot of makers in the team, what could be the solution?

Before people don't understand the difference between these two schedules, the problem will stay. Only when the conflict is widely recognized and understood, it will amend the situation. In the meanwhile, Paul Graham suggests makers set up office hours. Like he does it himself, being on a maker's schedule, he sets aside a chunk of time several times a week. These chunks are always at the end of the working day, which is why they're not an interruption.

To make your next meeting also productive, use the Team Meeting Toolbox. It helps you prepare and stay efficient before, after and in-between the meetings. Just take a look, one look has never hurt nobody.