Page MenuHomePhabricator

Propose new TPG norms about calendars
Closed, ResolvedPublic

Description

I would like to propose some new norms, to be added to https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Team_Practices_Group/Team_Norms#Calendars

The topic is maintaining calendar sanity.

The proposed norms have been added to the page as drafts, so I removed the earlier versions of them from this description.

Event Timeline

@ksmith GG's tips are to book 90 mins to 2 hours of time to focus and to try to cluster meetings near natural breaks in the day (lunch). I also try to avoid starting the day with a meeting where possible.

Thanks for initiating this discussion!

Ideas from the staff meeting:

"do what it takes to achieve calendar sanity."

"Some possible suggestions include ..." and/or "It's ok to..."

Awjrichards moved this task from To Triage to General backlog on the Team-Practices board.

Also consider: Avoid booking time at the edge of long blocks of time on other people’s calendars if there are other options (sometimes it's inevitable).

I added 3 proposed norms to the norms page: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Team_Practices_Group/Team_Norms#Calendars

@ggellerman : I didn't quite understand your tip about clustering meetings near lunch. Maybe we can follow up offline so I can understand and possibly integrate that as well.

Everyone in the meeting twinkled approving the draft norm as written. I will ping Max and Arthur to give them a chance to propose edits or a reversion to draft status.

GG clarified that the idea is to schedule meetings around natural breaks, to allow other parts of the day to contain large blocks of time for flow: http://paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html I will try to integrate that into the new norm as well.

ksmith moved this task from In Progress to Done on the Team-Practices (This-Week) board.

Marking as done, although more work might be required if absent TPGers have concerns.

@ggellerman : I added a paragraph about leaving large uninterrupted blocks, so feel free to review and/or tweak that.

@ksmith
Thanks!
A couple of comments re:

"Also, when scheduling meetings with people who benefit greatly from uninterrupted blocks of time, consider scheduling meetings near natural breaks when they will already be interrupted. This is sometimes known as a "maker's schedule". Examples would be at the start of day, the end of day, or before/after lunch. Also, contrary to advice above, scheduling meetings adjacent to other meetings might be less intrusive."

  1. "when scheduling meetings with people who benefit greatly from uninterrupted blocks of time, consider scheduling meetings near natural breaks when they will already be interrupted"

I propose something like: "Consider scheduling meetings toward the middle of the workday to cluster meetings near natural breaks (regularly scheduled interruptions such as lunch) and to allow for focus at the start and end of the day."

  1. If we adopt some version of the ideas in 1, then I think that we could drop: "Examples would be at the start of day, the end of day, or before/after lunch. Also, contrary to advice above, scheduling meetings adjacent to other meetings might be less intrusive."

Please let me know if you think that I what I propose would work for remoties in other timezones who adapt their schedules to coincide with PDT/PST (UTC-8).

Again, thanks for taking this task on!

@ggellerman : It seems we have different perceptions of the start and end of the day. Where you see them as potential times for focus, I see them as adjacent to natural breaks (arriving/departing work). That leads me toward wanting to remove some of the specifics, to talk more in generalities, and perhaps to further emphasize the need to understand your target's preferences and patterns.

Does that make sense?

@ksmith
I agree that the start and the end adjacent to the kind of natural breaks I meant.

That said, as someone who works in the office, starting the day with a meeting adds pressure to be there by a certain time and postpones the start of non-meeting work that day. At the end of the day would make more sense in terms of context switches and less sense in terms of focusing on the meeting at hand (particularly if meeting at the end is on the heels of back-to-back meetings).

While I would prefer blocks of meetings to be clustered around the middle of the day and the natural break at lunch, I personally feel more protective of the beginning and the end of the day.

Avoiding starting the day with a meeting is covered under "Maintain your own calendar sanity," though this advice might be more suited to appearing in "Help others maintain their calendar sanity."

Maybe we could soften/shorten the language around uninterrupted blocks of time to be guidance to consider that some might appreciate that and when in doubt, ask.

Also happy to have a synch conversation about this if you think that would be easier.

Thanks for your efforts here!

I'm going to ask TPG to review some last-minute changes, after GG and I agree they are ready. But the norm is on the page, so this one is done.

@ksmith
Looks great! Thanks for the effort that you put into this and for your patience in working through the comments. Ship it!