The Real Reason Designers and Developers Hate Meetings
Understanding the difference between a manager’s and maker’s schedules is crucial to understanding why designers and developers hate interruptions and meetings. Paul Graham wrote this famous essay about time management. They can make changes to their appointments as needed. They can timebox each task and block. They can change their schedule easily if something happens. This is a luxury that only makers don’t have. They cannot divide their work into 1-hour units because they require at least half a daily work day to get any work done. A developer needs at least half an hour to learn how to navigate code and plan what they will do. They need to be able to focus for long periods of time, even if they are interrupted. Managers don’t have to switch tasks. Managers can switch between tasks without any cost because they operate within a set schedule. If you work from 9:00-17:00 and have a meeting between 12:00-14:00 (plus lunch), you will only have two hours to complete your work. That is assuming no one interrupts. It’s not enough time to get started. It’s not enough to even get started. Makers are different. Designers can’t just grab a quick cup of coffee, they need to get things done. They will lose the time they need to complete tasks. Freelance developers are most comfortable working at night, as they have no interruptions and can get things done when the world is still.
Meetings should be scheduled at the beginning of each day. This allows people to work without having to switch gears during the day.
Limit work to 40 hours per week, not 8 hours per day. If someone is in a zone, the worst thing they could do is to stop working because it’s now time to go home. They’ll take advantage of the hour they have left and go home to use it better the next day.