‘All Calendars Suck: Start Saying No’

Image - iStockphoto: Cabezonication
Image – iStockphoto: Cabezonication

The Curse of the Calendar

Reversals of logic stay with you, witty whiplashes show you something looking unlike it did before.

That’s how Mike Monteiro’s article The Chokehold of Calendars may work on you. Monteiro writes:

All calendars suck. And they all suck in the same way. Calendars are a record of interruptions. And quite often they’re a battlefield over who owns whose time.

This may seem counterintuitive in an age when we’re scheduled up to our eyeballs and aided by the conveniences of networked calendars, synchronized from one device to another.  Never has it been so easy to see your meetings. Never have you had so many pings and dings and beeps and vibrations reminding you of them. Never has punctuality been so within reach, right?

Monteiro would say that’s exactly the problem.

In my experience, most people don’t schedule their work. They schedule the interruptions that prevent their work from happening. In the case of a business like ours, what clients pay us to make and do happens in the cracks between meetings, or worse, after business hours.

I’ve yet to see a résumé—and I hope I never do— that lists “attends meetings well” as a skill. Yet attending meetings ends up being a key component of many jobs. And it’s stupid.

Mike Monteiro
Mike Monteiro

The author of Design Is A Job (A Book Apart, 2012) and co-founder of San Francisco’s iconoclastic Mule Design studio, Monteiro is putting across one of those weird “My God, he’s right” moments in this piece that will send your efficiency experts throwing themselves off your tech start-up’s roof garden.

Anyone below the executive suite (for which meetings are the job) knows very well that meetings are a mess. No matter how well-run or efficiently “captured.”  But:

Let’s start with the premise that you have a 40 hour week. (If you just started crying you need a new job.) …If your job is to produce things such as code, comps, analyses, flow documents, etc., then why isn’t the time to do that on your calendar?

People rarely schedule working time. And when they do it’s viewed as second-tier time. It’s interruptible. Meetings trump working time. Why? And why so often are the same people who assign deadlines the same ones reassigning all of your time? Crazymaking. They should be securing work time for you and protecting it fiercely.

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Coincidentally: One thing I find helpful in freeing me even from electronic calendars is RescueTime’s FocusTime feature. You can learn more about it and try it free on my link (I’m an affiliate). 

There’s more: Read the full story at Thought Catalog

By Porter Ander­son

Writing on the Ether:  ‘All Calendars Suck: Start Saying No’

Originally published by Thought Catalog at www.ThoughtCatalog.com



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