Some meetings seem to go more smoothly than others – but why is that the case? Science shows it could be as simple as scheduling meetings at a better time and day of the week.
- Research backs the optimal meeting time. According to a recent study based on more than two million responses to meeting invites, the best time to book a meeting that is most likely to have a productive outcome is on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. It’s not too early or too late in the day, or the week, suggesting that mid-week, early afternoon meetings are the best time to meet.
- Avoid certain days. As a general rule of thumb, and if possible, don’t schedule a meeting on a Monday or a Friday. Wanting a Monday meeting makes sense, as it’s the beginning of the week and team members will be fresh and full of energy. But, Monday mornings are also a time of high productivity and it’s best to let team members get a good start on tasks without distractions. On the other hand, Fridays tend to see a lot of people away from their desks, so that day is not optimal for full attendance.
- Timing matters. There is a short window each day for the most productive meetings. Early mornings aren’t great, as most people have a morning routine and are more productive if they can stick to it. Late afternoons are also difficult, because as the day goes on, employees get run down and tired, and don’t make the best decisions. That leaves late morning and early afternoons as the “sweet spots” for a productive meeting that doesn’t interfere too heavily with workflow.
To evaluate how, and when, you and your team do their best work, try keeping track of the meetings 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.
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