As meetings expand to fill most days the need to justify unscheduled time grows. It becomes increasingly untenable to simply spend an hour simply thinking — someone else could easily assume you’re doing nothing.
If you’re a knowledge worker, you’re probably not producing much of value if you’re busy. It doesn’t matter how many meetings you go to or whether you look productive. Stressed, over-scheduled and burnt out people don’t produce great creative work.
This was inspired by Cal Newport’s In defense of thinking and On pace and productivity.
Efficiency is the enemy is another good read that gets at how “optimized” offices are horrendously unproductive, at least of deeply creative and innovative work.