ask them to ask me a day before rather than weeks before
I’ve got a family (and obligations).
Jason Fried

This really depends on your position and the workplace ethics. Some people have to have meetings according to other people’s schedules. For instance, when I was a student, I had to schedule meetings according to my professors’ schedules. It had to be done in advance because that’s how they roll. Basically, your approach works if:

  1. There is absolutely no sense of hierarchy, not even at a subconscious level. Otherwise the one who feels “indebted” becomes submissive and (maybe subconsciously) loses “debating power”. (S)He has to play by your rules. This doesn’t have to come from a workplace hierarchy, it can be something as simple as thinking that one of you is generally busier than the other one, in which case the less-busy person has to submit to the busier person’s schedule and way of doing things (for example a student thinking that her/his professor is obviously busier than (s)he is so have to schedule meetings by the professor’s rules and don’t dare suggest something like “hit me up the day before the meeting to see if the time still works”).
  2. The workplace already works on an asynchronous schedule, which would be awesome. But most places that aren’t at the forefront of technological innovations (slight exaggeration but basically talking about tech companies) don’t follow an asynchronous schedule, in which case (1) kicks in, and you see the monstrosities that you do at cafes.

Side note, a lot of what you see on these calendars are actually other people’s calendars — I had to keep a tab on all my professors’ calendars who were on my committee, as well as my supervisor at work to know if I can drop in to their office for something. My own calendar usually used to be pretty empty, but still looked like your example calendars because of this.

PS. I’m not defending this way of doing things, neither am I saying one way is better than the other. Different approaches fit different work and life styles, and I was just providing my perspective on *why* some people (or at least I) have calendars such as these. :)

Overall, good read (and I read most of your articles).

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