Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Some Economics to Explain Why I Cant Write College Papers on Sunday Afternoons

I've always been a moody writer. I have to be in this "mood" to get my writing done. And and, even when I am in this "mood" and I only manage to come up with flimsy arguments on paragraphs, I stop writing. Yeah, Imma perfectionist writer -- now that's what I tell myself. On bad days though, that tiny voice in my head argues with this self-confident part me and just tells the other that: it's not perfection -- in plain Tagalog, it's called "tamad".

I've always struggled with this thought about myself. About whether I can write more, do more if only I tried harder at it. And then comes this article! Saves meee from misereeee :P Hahaha! So the difference lies in the "manager's schedule" and the "maker's schedule". I was a "maker" then :P Read up through the links and you will see really interesting thoughts.

Stephen J. Dubner in the Freakonomics blog writes about hating meetings, read it right here. Dubner's whole article was inspired by this article from Paul Graham on the "Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule" which you can read here.

It's interesting how Graham explains the difference between splitting you work days into units according to the type of work you do. The "manager's schedule" uses hour units. The "maker's schedule" on the other hand, uses half day chunks. Hour units are good for when you go to meetings. That's why managers (usually people of power) divide their work days into hours, it's a convenient measure for things like meetings. Half day chunks on the other hand are good for people who create since, as in Graham's words, "makers" shift from mode to mode depending on what they create. It's difficult for "makers" to divide their days into hours because its just impossible to box activities like say, writing, into hour blocks because creativity doesn't really work that way. And I just have to say, that I love this man's thoughts for making sense out of this whole thing.

This is good to know because apparently, I am not alone with this feeling of unproductivity. I used to think that I was just slacking off when I couldn't finish tasks during those in between times in the mornings and the afternoons. you know how during the weekends you have to go to places and things and it doesn't eat up of the day, you have those bits of time after you get home and before you hit the sack. Or that time between waking up and leaving at an odd hour in the morning. I thought when I scheduled well, I can gun through my to-do list like a battery-operated toy soldier.

I used to always end up frustrated just because I couldn't find that power in me to use up small fractions of the day. Apparently when you "create", you cant plot time by the hours against productivity because you can't "sulit" the small chunks of time. Because as Paul Graham says, you move from mode to mode. I'd like to think this explains that thing with me and Sunday afternoons. Now I don't feel so bad.

Nice thought :)

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