In this episode, I am speaking with Chris Marshall, P.E., Regional Geotechnical Engineer at Professional Services Inc. (PSI) in Houston, Texas. We talk about the strategies he uses when dealing with everyday distractions in his engineering career and we discuss the difference between a maker’s and manager’s schedule, and how you might utilize these different schedules in your engineering career.
Here are some of the key points discussed about Maker’s Versus Manager’s Schedule for Engineers:
- A manager’s schedule usually consists of going to meetings, making calls, sending emails. People following this schedule can jump from one thing to the other easily.
- A maker’s schedule is intended people who need large chunks of time to work on projects like writers, computer programmers and of course, engineers. They may block out a half-or a whole day for a task so that they can work with no interruptions and be productive.
- As an engineer, you have to think of building blocks of time into your schedule that will allow you to do this maker-type of work. You might just close your door from time to time and let people know that you aren’t available. This will help you to reduce the number of distractions in your day.
- You can be very productive by managing between these two schedules back, but if you are not communicating and telling those around you about your scheduling plan, they might think that you are not available to them.
- Engineering managers will often have to adapt between a maker’s schedule and a manager’s schedule.
- Engineering requires a lot of thinking and your brain can only do so much engineering in one day or week. The quality of your work is going to diminish after a certain period of time. When planning out your week, it is thus important for you to think about how much brain power you have to work on specific tasks.
- You need to identify which time of the day you operate the best when planning your schedule. Knowing when you function at your most productive, will depict the amount of success you will have in your career and life.
- Try to set up standard times for any recurring meetings and set up blocks of time to focus on productive tasks.
- The way to effect change in organizations is to, first of all, distribute the information and the different concepts, and then to see who will grab onto it.
- If you can get a handful of people to make a positive change in your company, it can have a massively positive impact on the bottom line of the company.
- As a manager it’s important to bring awareness to the fact that there are different types of schedules and different types of work that requires different levels of focus, as this will increase the overall productivity in your firm.
More in this episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, we will provide you with an actionable piece of advice that you can implement immediately to take action on these scheduling concepts.
Chris has over 20 years of experience in the area of geotechnical engineering. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from The University of Memphis and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Chris currently serves as a Regional Engineer for a geotechnical consulting firm in Houston, Texas. He has worked on a variety of projects throughout his career. Representative projects include highways, levees, LNG facilities, landfills, and commercial developments. Chris has also been an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Transportation Research Board.
“A woodpecker can tap twenty times on a thousand trees and get nowhere, but stay busy. Or he can tap twenty-thousand times on one tree and get dinner.”— Seth Godin, The Dip
Resources and links mentioned in this session include:
Engineering Management Accelerator Workshop (Online) | 5 PDHs
Engineering Management Institute Professional Membership
Power Skills Series: How to Build Confidence and Engage People to Become an Effective Leader (PSS012019)
ENR Engineering Management Training Symposium
Maker vs. Manager: How Your Schedule Can Make or Break You
Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule
Elon Musk and the Question of Overconfidence
Taylor Pearson Website
This episode is brought to you by PPI, the leader of civil engineering FE or PE exam preparations. Visit ppi2pass.com to find essential licensure exam prep books, digital review, and helpful tips and advice.
This episode is also brought to you by WPI, one of the oldest engineering & technology universities in the country. Visit go2.wpi.edu/tecc to explore over 15 graduate degree programs in science, technology, and engineering.
Books Mentioned in the Episode:
How can I effectively plan my schedule ahead of time?
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on the type of schedule you implement each day – a maker’s schedule and/or a manager’s schedule?
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success