Early Monday morning meetings are scientifically proven to be bad for productivity. Plus, the exact time to meet instead
Don’t make it another manic Monday.
The last calendar invite anyone wants to see in their inbox is a meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. on a Monday morning when weekend mode is still in full effect, and there’s plenty more coffee to be had, employees insist.
“Monday morning meetings tend to start my week off on the wrong foot,” New York native, Julian, 27, who declined to give Moneyish his last name, said — adding that it slows down his workflow and is ineffective, especially if he’s nursing a hangover, or worse, a loss from his favorite football team.
The millennial, who works in government affairs, says that he’s usually still recovering from the weekend, and prefers to use the time to catch up on emails and unfinished projects after being out of the office for two days. Plus, “it is impossible to productively contribute to any conversation [that early],” he says, of going over agendas with his colleagues and boss that could simply be done via email.
Studies have shown that as many as 81% of workers get the “Sunday Scaries” — or a feeling of dread and anxiety about the work week ahead that trickles into the office on Monday. And meetings that are scheduled for Monday morning have statically low turnout rates: According to data by the online scheduling service WhenIsGood.net, one in three employees is likely not to show up to a meeting at that time.
Productivity experts say employees will be functioning at their best later in the day.
“When the weekend rolls around we really need it, and we may not be ready to jump back into Monday,” Deb Lee, a digital productivity coach, says. “Heavier, and more intense meetings should be saved for later in the day, or even on Tuesday when you’ve gotten into the swing of things and feel settled.”
And if the goal of the meeting is to generate good ideas and better results, it’s better to wait until later in the day when creativity is higher, a study from Albion College and Michigan State University found.
Still, Monday may actually be when we are at our peak when it comes to getting things done, just not early on in the day. Another study by project management software company Redbooth in 2017 found that the highest percentage of tasks are completed on Monday (20.4%), compared to on Friday, when only 16.7% of work assignments are done. But it’s important to specify that people complete the most tasks at around 11 a.m., just before lunch time, suggesting that the 9 a.m. Monday meeting your boss has planned won’t be the most effective, the study also found.
If you are faced with a 9 a.m. Monday meeting, Lee suggests asking your boss or manager if the meeting can be pushed to later in the day. Instead of complaining about it, detail your workflow and tasks you’d like to get done early on instead.
“You can say to this person, ‘how would you feel about doing a lunch instead?’ or ‘Would you mind if we met later, there are some projects I’d like to work on earlier in the day,’” Lee suggests.
“I wouldn’t approach it with, ‘I’m not a morning person and I don’t want to do it.’ It’s more like, ‘here’s my schedule, and here are some things I’m working on. Now you’re telling your boss that you’re invested in your work and in your schedule.”
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