A few months ago I wrote an article called Office vs. Errand Days, where I explained that I had started grouping my errands on certain days and making sure that I had meeting-free office days on others.
I’ve just finished reading Paul Graham’s excellent essay Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule, and realized that what I have been doing is separating my days into “manager’s schedule days” and “maker’s schedule days”.
As a freelancer, I am both: I’m the manager who meets people, has speculative meetings, receives new clients or gets interviewed by journalists. But I’m also the maker: a whole bunch of what I get paid for has to be done quietly in the office. And a whole bunch of what I need to do to get paid work also happens in the office.
So, if I’m not careful, I let the manager’s schedule take over my week, I’m super-busy but I don’t really get any paid work done, or proper prospecting.
So, here’s to grabbing my calendar again and making sure I put enough “maker days” into each of my weeks. And here’s to saying “no” firmly but gently when asked to interrupt one of my “maker days”. Even if I’m the person I need to say no to.