A fresh take on time management

Let’s face it—during the workweek, it can often feel like there’s never enough time to go around. Between meetings, emails, phone calls, and chat notifications, squeezing in a few hours of uninterrupted work time can seem next to impossible.

Aside from the usual office distractions, there’s also a huge difference between the schedule of a maker and that of a manager. When it comes to makers versus managers, how well your company balances out these two personas can make or break productivity.

For managers, time is typically divided into hourly segments. This means you’re constantly flitting from task to task. Scheduling people in is as simple as penciling them into a specific slot. But for those focused on making things, like programmers or content creators, work days are broken up into far lengthier intervals.

Whether you’re coding or writing, it takes more than a few hours to ramp up and execute a creative project of any sort. By default, this means meetings are extremely disruptive to a busy schedule. One afternoon conference call can break up an entire day, preventing you from tackling your most ambitious projects. Even just the anticipation of a broken up work day can be a cue to avoid complicated tasks.

This presents a huge problem when both types of schedules collide. Makers need large swaths of uninterrupted time to focus head down on their most creative projects. But managers expect to have time set aside for things like meetings and 1:1 check-ins. The key to avoiding day-to-day friction is finding the ideal scheduling balance for your company.

Here at Dialpad, we’re big believers in remote work. Five years ago, we dreamed up a work-from-home policy and never looked back. It’s been the perfect antidote to this dilemma of makers versus managers. Every Tuesday and Thursday, employees are encouraged to work from anywhere, giving them the space and freedom to take full control of their time.

Those who create get two entire days to themselves without meetings, appointments, or distractions of any kind. This means pure, uninterrupted blocks of time to tackle projects. Managers have the rest of the week to carve out time for their equally important in-person discussions. We’ve found that breaking up the work week this way means both managers and creatives can pass each other the scheduling baton.

With a brand new year ahead of us, it’s the perfect chance to refine your work calendar from top to bottom. A few simple tweaks here and there can mean an instant lift in productivity.

First, take a minute and evaluate your scheduling balance. If one type of schedule seems to be dominating, don’t be afraid to change things up! At the end of the day, we’re all makers. We think, build, and create on the job. The secret is protecting our calendars. With only so many hours in the day, make time for the projects that matter most. They might be the most time-consuming and energy intensive, but chances are, they’re also the most rewarding.

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