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What's the best day for team meetings? (Hint: Not Monday mornings)

You're feeling super productive... so why not have a meeting?

October 29, 2021
What's the best day for team meetings? (Hint: Not Monday mornings)

The end of the weekend marks the beginning of a new week, and it's understandable that most people feel like they need to strike while the iron is hot.

If you want to make your team meetings (meetings = time and attention) as effective and efficient as possible, consider having them on Monday mornings.

Or at least, that's what a lot of people think.

And by some logic, it makes sense. But read on to see why scheduling team meetings for Monday mornings is a mistake.

The flawed logic that Monday is the best day for team meetings

The end of the weekend can be stressful. You're busy preparing for Monday morning — getting yourself (and maybe even your kids) ready for school, work, and all that comes along with it.

As you're rushing out of the house on Monday morning, your brain is still in holiday mode, so it's hard to get back into the swing of work.

But, if you schedule your team meetings for Monday, people will already be in the mindset to get things done, won't they? Not only that, but they'll also feel like the meeting is a step forward and not just another item on their checklist.

A team meeting on a Monday is a total reset that forces the brain into being ready for the workweek, right?

All this may actually be true. However, you're also potentially giving away some of your most productive working hours to a team meeting.

The truth about Monday meetings

Lynn Taylor, who wrote a book on the topic, is adamant that employees are the most productive on Monday mornings, so it’s critical not to distract them with meetings.

“Because you’ve stepped away for a couple of days, these back-to-work mornings are the most memorable for the rest of the week."
—Lynn Taylor, author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job

Instead, you should schedule no meetings for Monday mornings at all. Allow employees to use their fresh energy in whatever way is most productive for them.

When should you hold your team meetings then?

Employees are also more likely to be out of the office on Mondays, so any meeting scheduled for that day will undoubtedly have a lot of no-shows.

According to a study done by YouCanBookMe, a U.K.-based scheduling company, Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. is the best time to schedule a meeting. It's not too early in the morning or late in the week. The group examined data from over two million responses to 530,000 meeting invites.

If you can't do so on Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m., mid-afternoon and mid-week meetings are the best choices.

In fact, if you do regular 1:1s and team meetings, doing a 1:1 on Monday afternoons or Tuesday mornings can be a good precursor to the team meeting just a few hours later. That way, anything that comes up in the 1:1 that impacts the whole team can be addressed.

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What is a good meeting, anyway?

The folks behind the popular project management tool monday.com say an effective meeting is inclusive, collaborative, strategic, and efficient:

What is an effective meeting?

  • Inclusive: Everyone in attendance gets to share their ideas, feedback, and suggestions.
  • Collaborative: There’s a sense of trust and rapport that establishes an environment for collaboration and sharing.
  • Strategic: The meeting has a clear purpose that extends beyond information-sharing.
  • Efficient: There’s a clear plan of action and an objective for the time spent together to keep the conversation on track.

So, say you've scheduled your team meeting perfectly for 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday (assuming everyone is in the same time zone, which is less frequently the case). How do you ensure your meeting is effective?

How to have an effective meeting

A brief agenda, sent out the day before or first thing in the morning on Tuesday will help.

It’s important to send out an agenda so everyone knows what to expect and can come prepared with relevant points. This also helps you avoid any wasted time where people are trying to read tea leaves about what's coming up. Everyone should know what's happening, and anyone who doesn't arrive with the right knowledge will be able to observe for a few minutes to take it in before jumping into their next assignment.

You can use an agenda template like one of our weekly team meeting agendas for this purpose. Have every team member fill in their section of the agenda with their updates.

Also, get ready to record action items for everyone so they get the work done.

As long as you have a clear purpose for your meeting and respect the time of those involved, an effective team meeting held on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. will keep your employees focused and productive throughout the week - even on the following Mondays!

Research: Meeting Practices, Productivity, and Team Culture
How to build a happier, more productive team through better meeting processes
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