An Interesting Scheduling Hack

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Brad Feld has an interesting idea for scheduling the day:

30 minute schedule slots: I’ve tried it all. 60 minutes. 15 minutes. 5 minutes. 45 minutes. 37 minutes. The only thing that I’ve found that works is 30 minutes. If I schedule for 15 minutes, I inevitably have too many things in a day and get completely exhausted. If I schedule for more than 30 minutes, I find myself twiddling my thumbs and trying to get finished with the meeting. 30 minutes seems to be the ideal amount to get any type of meeting done.
Feld's reasoning and flexible implementation make compelling reading for anyone with control over large blocks of time. (Implementing his advice will be more challenging for people whose employers schedule much of their time.) I particularly like his use of walks for meetings he thinks might take longer: He has made himself able to adjust their lengths on the fly.

Interestingly, his advice seems to me like it might dovetail well with the Pomodoro Technique (scroll down) for those on what Paul Graham calls a "maker's schedule", although for reason Graham discussed, the thirty minute slots for creative work would best be consecutive.

-- CAV

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