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? Is it the need to socialize after a week-end of fun and laughter and not wanting to feel lonely behind the desks? The truth is that a Monday morning meeting will hardly give you any results, but at least, well, you’ll have a good time.
The strong, second worst 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.
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.
Why is it so difficult to get everyone in the room to focus on those days and times?
Reason number 1
Tiredness due to an already long and intense day 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 all or doze off?
Reason number 2
‘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!
Reason number 3
Information is processed slower. That is really time consuming. Especially after the week-end, most of us require some time to ‘resettle’ into the working mode.
We are spending a lot of time in meetings, more every year, some studies suggest middle managers 35% of their working time weekly and the upper management up to 50%! This is a global phenomenon and it is here to stay, and while strategies are in place in many companies to make meetings more productive, many of them are still there only to set an agenda for more meetings about meetings, (Jonah Goldberg).
When is the perfect time for meetings?
Of course it depends on many factors, but some research suggests that the perfect time is 2.30 or 3 on Tuesday afternoons. It is not the beginning or the end of the week, so chances are, everyone will be in the office. At this point, the week has not been wearing you down, you feel and are still quite fresh. Lunch has been digested, it is time to grab a coffee, or a fruit and to focus on the discussion. The added plus is that instead of having to prepare for the meeting the day or evening before, there is time to do it during the day itself.
Something for you?
Someone said that even good meetings can be done better. Why not trying something new, for example, to have a weekly meeting on Tuesdays instead of Mondays? The bonus? On Tuesdays you can still make adjustments to the weekly agenda and stir in the right direction if needed. Try to do things differently, see if it works for you!