As a general rule, people really don’t like meetings. In fact, 17 percent of employees say they’d literally rather watch paint dry than attend one. Still, there are some rare folks who actually enjoy them, and most of us agree that some meetings seem to go more smoothly than others. But, why is that the case? It could be as simple as scheduling meetings at a better time and day of the week.
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A lot of companies schedule team meetings for Monday mornings, the logic being that this is a good time to get everyone on the same page on shared goals right at the beginning of the week. However, this timing isn’t great. Folks have a lot of energy on Monday mornings, and this can be a very productive time. If this is taken away, many workers will experience a rise in frustration, and a simultaneous decline in morale. Monday morning meetings might sound like a good idea, but they aren’t.
- …not too early.
Relying on similar logic, some companies elect to schedule the bulk of their meetings for early in the day, thinking that it will allow teams to kick off new projects more easily. However, morning meetings aren’t a good idea. We prepare for them the day before, which can detach us from the topic at hand, or we don’t prepare at all. Also, some attendees may still be sleepy at this time, or might prefer to start the day attending to some important to-do items instead. When we start the day more independently, we’re able to offer more to groups later in the day.
Morning meetings aren't a good idea. We prepare for them the day before ... or we don't prepare at all.
- …but not too late either.
The end of the day also isn’t the best time of day to schedule a meeting. A lot of people are run down by this point and may rush to get the meeting behind them rather than fully engage. There is logic behind the idea that one should not interview for a new position late in the afternoon for this very reason. The same goes for all other meetings. We get run-down as the day goes on, and we don’t make the best decisions during these times. Any meeting close to the end of the day will likely elicit less participation and active engagement than ones held a bit earlier.
- Science says we should shoot for Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m.
Recently, Quartz reported on a study done by YouCanBookMe, a company based in the U.K. that makes scheduling apps for businesses. After analyzing data from more than two million responses, they determined that 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday is the single best time to schedule a meeting. Not too early and not too late (in both the day and the week) mid-afternoon and mid-week meetings might just be the ideal time to meet.
Try keeping track of the meetings you attend over the course of the next couple weeks and see if you notice a difference in terms of productivity and engagement based upon time of day. It could help you understand a little bit more about how, and when, you do your best work.
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