Monday mornings are the worst time to have a meeting. And yet most of the weekly meetings are held at 9am on Monday mornings. Why? The truth is that a Monday morning meeting will hardly give you any results. Have you thought about what is the best time for meetings?
Mondays are often a transition day from the weekend mode back to the ordinary weekdays. Some people might extend their holidays and take the day off to have a long weekend. The others who are at the office, most likely have dozens of emails waiting for response. While you might feel rested and energetic after a few days off at home, Monday is a great time to be productive and tackle your own tasks. This also sets the tone for the rest of the week. Having to sit in a meeting will probably lower your spirits, and in turn make you lazier.
The other bad time for meetings is Friday afternoon at 3 or 4pm. People are already visualising the BBQ sizzling in their gardens or the food they will eat at the family reunion. After lunch hour, many are already one foot out of the office door, at least mentally. Fridays tend to be a good time for team drinks and casual get-togethers — leave out strategic decision making.
Reasons Why Mondays and Fridays Are NOT the Best Time for Meetings…
End of the Week Tiredness
Friday is not the best time for meetings because people are often tired. Tiredness due to an already long and intense week at work. Imagine having to contribute to the decisional process on important matters. It requires a lot of energy, which is already running low. What would you do? Be present and give it your everything or doze off?
When You Are Tired, You Contribute Less
‘The easy way out’. When people are tired, they want to get over and done with everything as quickly as possible. They tend to agree easily, which might feel good, but don’t be fooled: it is their way to get out of that meeting room as quickly as possible! As such, Mondays and Fridays are not the best time for meetings. Your attendees will not put in any extra effort.
More Time Is Required to Process Content
Information is processed slower when your meeting takes place on a bad day, hence choose the best time for your meetings. If everything has to be repeated several times, more time is consumed. Especially after the weekend, most of us require some time to ‘resettle’ into the working mode.
When Is the Best Time for Meetings?
While Mondays and Fridays are not the best time for meetings, research suggests that the perfect time is either 2.30 or 3pm on Tuesday afternoons.
Other good weekdays are obviously Wednesday and Thursday. However, if your topic requires action from your colleagues, it’s probably better to schedule the meeting towards the beginning of the week. It is not the beginning nor the end of the week, hence chances are that everyone will be in the office. At this point, the week has not been wearing you down, and you still feel quite fresh.
When you organise the meeting in the afternoon, make sure it’s not immediately after lunch. We tend to feel sleepy right after eating, and some of your colleagues might be having a late lunch and run late. In the afternoon the lunch has been digested, it is time to grab a coffee, or a fruit and to focus on the discussion. The added value is that instead of having to prepare for the meeting the day or the evening before, there is time to do it during the day itself.
Finally, meetings should not be held at the end of any intense working day, unless it’s in a different location from the office. Alternatives include a walking meeting or a meeting in a venue that maybe includes a pleasant networking moment at the end.
Best Meeting Times — What’s In It For You?
Some studies suggest middle managers spend 35% of their weekly working time and the upper management up to 50% of their weekly working time in meetings!
We are spending more and more time in meetings. This is a global phenomenon and it is here to stay. While many companies have strategies in place to make meetings more productive, many of them are still there only to set an agenda for more meetings about meetings. If you are going to spend this much time in meetings, it’s better to organise them during productive hours and make them count towards your goals.
Here’s news to you: even good meetings can be done better. Why not try something new, for example, to have a weekly meeting on a Tuesday instead of a Monday? What do you get out of this? On Tuesdays you can still make adjustments to the weekly agenda and stir it in the right direction if needed. You can expect to see more results! Try to do things differently, and see if it works for you.