Leadership

This Google manager has the best advice on time management

A Businesswoman is silhouetted as she makes her way under the Arche de la Defense, in the financial district of Paris.

Rushing between meetings takes up valuable time that could be spent on thinking and creating, says Google's Jeremiah Dillon. Image: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Rosamond Hutt
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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When it comes to managing our time, many of us would agree there’s room for improvement.

Jeremiah Dillon, Head of Product Marketing at Google Apps for Work, has shared his insights on how to get things done in an email to colleagues that was later published online.

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In the email, Dillon explains that there are two types of schedulers: the manager and the maker.

The manager’s day is divided into 30-minute slots. “They change what they’re doing every half hour. Sorta like Tetris – shifting blocks around and filling spaces,” he writes.

The maker’s day, on the other hand, is different. The most effective way for makers to use their time is in half- or full-day blocks.

“They need to make, to create, to build. But, before that, they need to think,” he explains.

“Even a single 30-minute meeting in the middle of ‘Make Time’ can be disruptive.”

How can we reserve ‘Make Time’?

Meetings swallow up valuable time that could be better spent on thinking and creating, says Dillon.

“Many of our meetings could be shorter or include fewer people, and some don’t need to happen at all. Take back those hours for your Make Time instead.”

But don’t put it off until the end of the day on Friday – the time you choose really matters.

“Commit to protecting Make Time on your calendar, including the time and place where you’ll be making, and ideally detail on what you’ll be making. That way, you know, it’ll actually happen,” he suggests.

So what does a well-organized week look like?

Because our energy levels go up and down during the week, it makes sense to plan accordingly, says Dillon.

“Always bias your Make Time toward the morning, before you hit a cycle of afternoon decision fatigue. Hold the late afternoon for more mechanical tasks,” he says.

Here’s how Dillon suggests scheduling your week:

Monday: Energy ramps out of the weekend – schedule low-demand tasks like setting goals, organizing, and planning.

Tuesday, Wednesday: Peak of energy – tackle the most difficult problems, write, brainstorm, schedule your Make Time.

Thursday: Energy begins to ebb – schedule meetings, especially when consensus is needed.

Friday: Lowest energy level – do open-ended work, long-term planning, and relationship building.

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