Why Maker Time is Critical For Productivity and Business Success
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Good managers know that the way to get the most from their workforce is to delegate to their employees’ strengths. But in the stress of today’s working environment, there’s a fine line between motivating employees to be their best and running them to the point of collapse. The key is understanding the difference between Maker Time and Manager Time.
At Praisidio, we help teams analyze and reallocate their schedules to free up time for making and managing. If you’d like to see how this can dramatically boost productivity for your organization, book a quick demo.
In this article, we explain the ins and outs of Maker vs Manager time and show why it’s a concept your business should be thinking about.
What is Maker Time?
Writers, programmers, engineers, and other creatives who work on high-focus tasks require “Maker Time”—long, uninterrupted blocks of time reserved for cognitively demanding jobs. For these professionals, it’s essential to get into a state of flow if they hope to perform at peak productivity. Interruptions during Maker Time make it difficult to concentrate, and therefore decrease the maker’s output. Unlike managers, who slice their schedule into hourly (or even quarter-hourly) meetings and appointments, makers look at their time in units of days and half-days.
Why is Maker Time important?
Makers can’t produce anything of much quality when they have meetings scheduled every couple of hours; even just thinking about an upcoming meeting, and remembering to go, can distract from the work at hand.
Distractions negatively affect focus and productivity, and cost businesses big-time. According to research, 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to half (20% to 50%, specifically) of annual workforce turnover. Being distracted frequently from core tasks are likely to limit the potential of the employee and often leads to burnout.
Tips for setting aside dedicated Maker Time
Working with businesses and creative teams, Praisidio helps workplaces better understand their schedules and reallocate their time to free up capacity for focused Maker Time. But makers and managers also have plenty of ways to make sure they can create and capitalize on Maker Time:
1. Recognize employees’ most productive time of day. For some, it’s the morning. For others, it’s the evening. Some makers even prefer to work through the night when everyone else is asleep. Every Maker is different, and each will have different preferences.
2. Turn off the distractions. Or at least learn how to limit them. Signing out of email and social media helps. So do noise-canceling headphones. The ping of a smartphone notification can be just as distracting for Maker Time as an upcoming meeting.
3. Improve communication between makers and managers. If daily meetings are derailing Maker Time, communicate with your employee or employer about setting aside uninterrupted blocks of time to improve productivity. Try to schedule 2-3-hour chunks of time to get maker work done without interruption. Good managers will understand what good makers need to be productive.
What is Manager Time?
Maker Time is distinct from Manager Time. A manager’s schedule tends to be divided into small chunks on the calendar; scheduling a call or meeting is as easy as finding an open slot. A maker’s schedule, on the other hand, requires large chunks of uninterrupted time. In the maker vs. manager time balance, the managers usually win—but it often comes at the expense of maker productivity.
Why is Manager Time important?
Most workplaces operate on Manager Time. It’s great for organizing people, tasks, and ad-hoc elements in the office. It gives structure to the business and the workplace. But how do you manage Manager Time? Below are some tips from great business managers:
Tips for better structuring Manager Time
1. Institute “Meeting Days.” In Manager Time, meetings are essential for organizing and aligning output. In Maker Time, meetings are a time suck and a focus killer. A good manager will find a balance by grouping meetings together on specific days. Monday and Wednesday, for instance, can be meeting days, with multiple meetings scheduled for each day. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday can be non-meeting days, with long blocks of uninterrupted time set aside for makers.
2. Let your makers make. Coaches don’t hit home runs—their players do. By the same token, the success of a manager is measured by the output of their makers. By learning how to lead according to their employees’ strengths, a manager makes more efficient use of their makers’—and their own—time.
3. Make time for breaks. Whether it’s for coffee, cardio, or a quick walk around the block, make sure you build breaks into your daily schedule. It’ll re-ground you, re-focus you, and lead to more productivity in the long run.
How Praisidio measures and calculates maker time
The Praisidio platform helps teams understand both Maker Time and Manager Time, and the best way to balance both. Through machine learning and the power of predictive analysis, Praisidio identifies employees with low Maker Time and allows you to compare them with peers who have the same job title and job level. We also make it easy to intervene, so you can create a new balance quickly and track the results over time.
Praisidio connects to services like Google Suite and Microsoft Office 365 to analyze calendar events, which we can use to estimate Maker Time. In creating our algorithms, we take into account multiple factors. For instance, we don’t consider the time between meetings to be productive Maker Time if that break is less than two hours. Just the thought of an upcoming appointment can be disruptive to makers.
3000 extra productive hours a week thanks to maker time
To give you an example of how important Maker Time is, let’s look at what Praisidio was able to help one corporate customer achieve.
We began by cross-referencing maker time with performance review information and found a direct correlation between Maker Time and performance. Employees who exceeded expectations had an average of 29.7 Maker Time hours a week.
Praisidio calculated that those with Maker Time of less than 18.2 hours a week required intervention. The company took action and helped employees reorganize their meetings to create more Maker Time, canceled unimportant meetings, and made non-essential meetings optional.
As a result, leaders were able to free up 3 hours per employee per week in a very short period of time. This might seem small, but it isn’t.
3 hours of maker time a week x 1,000 employees = 3,000 hours a week
This improvement added 3,000 work hours a week to the organization, which is equivalent to gaining 75 new employees.