managers, makers and…

Some of you have read this before, because I linked to it on Facebook a month or two ago. It’s an essay by Paul Graham, and it basically divides people into two groups, based on the way they work: in a nutshell, managers deal with people, whether gathering information or distributing it, and their job can be done in 1-hour increments. Makers, on the other hand – writers, programmers, designers – need at least a few hours to produce anything really good, and interruptions can be devastating. Having written, programmed, and designed, I can attest to the truth of this distinction.

However, I’d like to add a third category: mamas. These are people for whom there’s no point in starting anything complicated, EVER, because they are perpetually on call: children fall down, kitties throw up, phones and doorbells ring, laundry needs to be rebooted, husbands feel chatty, and none of this happens on any kind of predictable schedule (except maybe the laundry), and everything else needs to be fit into the cracks between these events – cracks that may be several hours, or several seconds. My favorite are the interruptions within interruptions, where DrBob asks me to proofread something and I’m halfway through when the kids raise a ruckus downstairs and then DrBob gets an infuriating email he has to tell me about right away and then the kids zip upstairs and one of them wants to play computer and the other one’s hungry.

Yeah. This is on my mind lately because I have this part-time job that I’m trying to fit into these cracks. It is proving to be a challenge. I have 500 titles to process, and I think I managed maybe 30 today. Argh.

Song du jour of the day: Sweet Sweet Baby, by Lone Justice.

P.S. Hey, WordPress says this is my 1000th post! Howbout that?

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3 responses to “managers, makers and…

  • Melanie

    Oh ya. I just sent that link to Kick, this is his big problem. He is a “maker”, but in his current life path he has to have meetings a lot, on other people’s schedules and it totally fucks his productivity. He used to work on his own stuff til 4 am and sleep til noon, but not so any more. And I need both kinds of days for my job, but ya, mama time.

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