How much thought do you give when you schedule a meeting? Most people look through their calendar to find an open time slot during the week, and send out a meeting request. Whether you’re having a meeting with your team, or with a prospective client, the time and day the meeting is held has a strong impact on it’s success. The most common time-management advice is not to schedule a meeting right after lunch when everyone will be half-asleep. But what about the rest of the day? The rest of the week?
Avoid Early Morning Meetings (before 10 a.m.)
Research done by WhenIsGood.net, a web app for scheduling meeting times, analyzed 2 million responses to over 500,000 scheduled events. The data showed that if you try to schedule a meeting before 10 am, only 1 in 3 people will accept. Research coordinator Keith Harris speculates that the reason for this is “if you have a meeting at 9 a.m., employees will need to prepare the day before, or turn up underprepared.” From a productivity standpoint, early morning meetings should be avoided. Most people dedicate the first few hours of the work day on catching up on emails and preparing for the day ahead of them. Even if people do accept the meeting their mind is elsewhere, you shouldn’t expect them to pay attention and contribute to the conversation.
Aim for The Middle of the Week
Mondays and Fridays are typically the least effective days to hold a meeting . On Mondays, people are trying to catch up on work after the weekend and prepare for the upcoming week. On Fridays people are usually wrapping up for the week and finish work needed to reach deadlines. Furthermore, these are the days that most people take off when they plan for long weekend. For best levels of participation and productivity, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday are the best days to hold a meeting.
The Best Time? Tuesday, 3PM
The research from WhenIsGood.net shows that Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 pm is the best time of the week to schedule a meeting. Almost half of the people in the research responded that they are available for Tuesday 3 o’clock meetings compared to about a third of responded who had early morning availability. What’s also interesting is that the numbers were compared to a study 5 years ago, and the results were very similar. Harris says that the likely reason why Tuesdays work best is “because that is the furthest you can get from the deadlines at the end of the week, without bumping into the missed deadlines from the week before.”