212 Ditch Monday Morning Meetings
Have you ever wondered how starting your week with meetings can affect your entire week? Well, I've got some fantastic ideas for you. In this episode, we're going to explore what happens when you decide to keep your Monday mornings free from meetings. It's a simple change, but it can make a big difference in how productive and organized your week becomes.
Join me as I share my personal journey of how I improved my Work+Life Harmony by reserving Mondays for planning and preparation. I'll share some strategies that have worked for me to manage my time effectively, and I'll even talk about the best times to schedule meetings to make your week flow smoothly.
We'll also discuss why Thursday afternoons might be a great time for meetings. It gives you a chance to review what you've accomplished during the week and plan for the next one. Plus, it frees up your Friday for cleaning up loose ends and getting ready for the weekend.
So, let's leave behind the old ways of doing things and start paving the way for a more Work+Life Harmony!
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Let's be honest, nobody wants to see a meeting on their calendar very first thing Monday morning. Nobody wants to see it. Yet time and time and time again, that is when people schedule meetings, especially like getting our plan together for the week. So in today's episode, I want to explain to you why a Monday morning meeting is actually a really bad idea and how it can lead to downstream consequences, especially if it is a planning meeting. And then I'm going to be sharing with you some other strategies to think about when you're scheduling meetings instead. So let's go ahead and talk about this, and my goal and hope for you is that if you are in charge of scheduling meetings, you'll really think long and hard before scheduling a Monday morning meeting in the future, and if you are someone that constantly gets pulled into a Monday morning meeting, maybe to empower you some knowledge to take back to the person that is scheduling Monday meetings to see if maybe you could find a different time to have them instead. So let's go ahead and get started. Welcome to the Work Life Harmony podcast. I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the top program and top planner teaching all things time management, organization and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife and, just like you, I'm juggling, hashtag all the things while running multiple businesses and a family. Guess what? You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out. There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time, planning an organization to skyrocket your productivity so you can have work life harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you, and if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my work life harmony assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram @megansumrell, with the word harmony and my team will send it right over. Hi there, welcome back to work life harmony. So today I want to be sharing with you three reasons why you should never, ever, if at all possible, have a meeting on Monday mornings. Now it is so tempting. I know back both from my corporate days and being a small business owner. It's very tempting for people to want to start the week with a meeting, and the intention around it is usually a good intention we want to start our week off with a meeting to make sure everyone's on the same page, or to get the plan for the week, or whatever the reason may be, but having meetings in the morning on Mondays can be an absolutely terrible idea, and this is why, if you were to look at my calendar, my Monday, from 8 in the morning to 11 in the morning, is permanently blocked. It's just a recurring blocked appointment on my calendar to prevent anyone else from scheduling a meeting with me and to remind me not to book a meeting on Monday morning, if at all possible. All right.
So first let's talk about the three reasons why Monday morning meetings are really not a good idea, and the third reason is one that's really, really interesting for you all to think about. So definitely pay attention to that, and then I'm going to give you some suggestions on meeting times that could be good, based on the type of meeting that you're having. So first of all, think about the state that you were in on a Monday morning. All right, and usually for most people, it falls in one of two categories you are either someone that's like up at it, like hit the ground running. It's Monday. Let's do this, which is most of the time.
The camp that I fall in not always depends on my weekend, or for some of us, monday morning might be more of like non-energized. I think back to some of the jobs that I had in my corporate days where I was not super happy, like Monday morning almost felt like a death march into the building, right. So either way you typically are in a let's go, let's go or I'm going to just need a hot minute. If you start that week with a meeting, you're getting one of two energies in the room. You either have people coming in who are super energized and you are, instead of allowing them to spend that pocket of time when they could be in action doing things that needed to get done, you now have them sitting in a room with a meeting, and so it's a wasted opportunity for some people of like their most productive time. On the flip side, with the people that are very low energy, the energy that they're going to be bringing to that meeting on a Monday is often kind of felt in that meeting room and it's not good. So by scheduling that Monday morning meeting, you're missing out on capitalizing. For some people, their best focused productive time, or for other people, you're trying to get them. You're trying to like kick them in the pants a little bit, when maybe they just need 30 minutes at their desk to kind of get back in the groove. All right Now.
The second reason why a Monday morning meeting can really have a bad downstream effect is, again think about what your life looks like on a Monday morning. I usually need to catch up from having disconnected from the weekend right, and for some people maybe they even have had a three day weekend and usually when I'm sitting down on Monday there's a lot of messages for me to get caught up. I have emails that I need to process, other messages, reports that I may need to run, et cetera. And by having that time Monday morning, it allows me to then get on top of the week. I like to think of it as just like I need a hot minute to kind of regroup from the weekend, to then feel ready to launch into the week. And for a lot of us that may only mean like 20 minutes, maybe hour tops, to kind of review my weekly plan, like just feel good about the next five days.
Now if, instead, you start your day with a meeting, oftentimes meetings result in new things for you to do right, new stuff on your to-do list. So instead of having, let's say, the first hour of your Monday at your desk at your workspace catching up from the weekend, reviewing what's happening for the week and kind of getting yourself ready to go, if instead you are in a conference room or on a Zoom call and at the end of that hour you now have seven new things on your list of things that need to get done this week, you are now starting your week already feeling behind and already feeling stressed, Because what happens is we start to see I've got all this new stuff I've got to do, but I don't feel caught up yet from the weekend, right? So now we bring kind of this anxious or overwhelmed energy into the very beginning of our week and when we start our week that way, it can lead to poor decisions about how to spend our time. We start to get into a bit of a panic space and it just kind of creates a downward spiral, whereas instead if everyone had had the opportunity to spend that first hour or so at their desk getting caught up, getting their plan together for the week and kind of seeing what's ahead, and then later in the day having that meeting, things are going to look very, very different and you're going to feel very different.
Now the third reason why a Monday morning meeting can lead to some very negative consequences. Now, this is very specific to meetings where you are discussing work and actually having to come up with estimates or due dates around that work. I wanna tell you why doing this on a Monday morning is a terrible idea. One of the things that I teach and train on inside my top program are tips and strategies for better estimating how long tasks are going to take, and I used to run estimating meetings for software teams back in my corporate life. And here is what's really interesting, and there's some actual studies done around this I want you to think about.
When you are at your best, when you're operating at like I can conquer the world kind of a zone, right? Imagine you've had a great night's sleep, you've had a really good breakfast and you're just feeling super energized and super positive. Okay, and if I were to come to you and ask you in that moment to tell me how long a certain task is going to take, what our brain is doing is it's applying its reasoning based on your current state of mind. So if I were to ask you how long it's gonna take for you to generate, you calculate, this report at work, or even do this home project, and you are in that energy or that space of feeling like you could conquer the world, you're gonna be applying that energy to your estimate, which means you're gonna be basically telling me oh my gosh, if I were to sit down and do it right now, I could probably knock this out in one hour.
But what happens is oftentimes the time that we are then actually executing on the task is not when we are at our highest energy or our best selves. So in that moment, if you were to sit down and do that particular task, you might be able to get it done in one hour, but the reality is maybe it's gonna take you an hour and a half, which, again in that example, maybe you're thinking so what? It's 30 extra minutes, that's 50% more time. Start to think about if it's a task that might take you 10 hours, but in reality it took you 14 or 15. Now, on the flip side, here's what's interesting if you were to have that same kind of planning meeting where we're thinking about estimating and all of that, and you've got a group of people together, maybe right after lunch, and they're like food coma, feeling super sluggish. They're going to bring that energy to their estimates and instead they may start telling you things are going to take a lot longer than they need to.
But I can't tell you how many times I see people running high-level planning meetings first thing on Monday mornings and for a lot of people it means that they are bringing the like we got this, we're going to do it energy to it and the plan that they create is a very unrealistic one. And so then now they're trying to play catch up as everything's taking longer than they planned, they're not hitting due dates, etc. So this begs the question of like when is there a good time to have these types of planning meetings? This is where I like to recommend people doing it late morning, like maybe an 11am. I try not to ever have meetings before 11am on a Monday. You're still in a more regular energy level, you're not exhausted yet, like I wouldn't be doing these at the end of the day, or maybe shift them to a midweek.
Whenever I'm doing like really important strategic planning, I never let myself do that on Mondays, because Mondays for me. I'm in that I'm going to conquer the world. So I like to make sure I'm doing those on a Wednesday, maybe a Tuesday afternoon, when my kind of dopamine let's do this has settled back in and I'm at just more of a steady state of energy and productivity. And this is why, again for me, what works for me for my weekly planning, that's why I tend to do mine like late morning on Sundays. I'm relaxed and calm and I'm going to bring that energy and that mindset to the plans that I'm creating for the week.
If I were to wait and do them first thing Monday mornings, I'm already feeling a little stressed and I'm going to bring that energy to my plans, which means that the time that I'm going to be estimating and allocating is not going to be very good. So again, to recap three reasons why Monday morning meetings can be a terrible idea. Number one you might be wasting the most productive time for people on your team to actually be in productivity mode instead of being in a meeting, or you may be asking people to show up when they just need a hot minute. They're not quite ready for that yet. The second reason, again, is you want to give people the opportunity to get caught up from the weekend to get their plans together for the week, so that people aren't starting the week already feeling stressed and behind by possibilities of action items and to-dos that are coming out of that.
First thing, monday morning meeting. And then the third thing again that we talked about here is understanding why having a meeting where you're going to be doing estimates or plans on a Monday morning is probably going to create a unrealistic timetable that is going to be very hard to achieve because people are bringing that energy to the estimates and plans that they are creating. So let's just talk in general around some suggestions that I would bring to the table if you are looking to reschedule and think about when you want to have open space on your calendar for meetings. So, as I mentioned, I keep my Monday mornings blocked. The same is true for Friday afternoons. Guys, nobody wants to get a meeting request after three o'clock on a Friday. They just don't. And, quite frankly, do you want to be the person that is keeping people like asking people to come into a meeting at 4pm on a Friday? Don't be that person, just don't, please. So try and avoid at all costs any kind of a meeting first thing on a Monday morning or at the end of a day on a Friday. I just don't do that. So I would really encourage people.
If you're thinking about planning meetings for future work, thursday afternoons early afternoons can be a great time for this, because, number one, you're giving people the opportunity to review this past week and be like OK, how's this week gone? Are we feeling good about things? And making sure that everyone's understanding if there's any loose ends that need to be tied up on Friday. So, for instance, I have my weekly meeting with my director of operations is on Thursday mornings, so it gives us the chance to make sure is there anything that we had planned for this week that didn't happen, that we need to readjust for? And then that is when we are setting our plans and reviewing everything for the upcoming week. And I love doing that on Thursday because it means now we all have the information that we need as a team rolling into Friday morning, because some of my team likes to do their weekly planning on Fridays. Other people like to do it on the weekend, and now we have all the information laid out for us for the coming week so that we can get our head around what's going on, and doing that prior to Monday morning is really, really powerful. And then, just in general, if at all possible, I would encourage anyone that is in charge of scheduling meetings maybe give people 30 minutes, like if your standard kind of business hours start at 9am, maybe just try not to set meetings before 9 30 in the morning, right, give everybody that ability to have 30 minutes every morning before they're jumping right into meetings, and same with the end of the day as well. So I hope that this is giving you something to think about. I would love for you guys to share with me if you're going to change up any of your meeting practices.
Now, as I mentioned, estimating is something that I do cover inside of my top program in great detail, but we're also going to be touching on estimating a little bit and you're going to be seeing some of it inside of the annual planning plan, a Pallusa workshop. This is a live three-day event with me. It's actually a half day over three days and, guys, it is right around the corner. We are kicking things off on October 24th. So if you are listening to this after the 24th, don't worry, we're going to have replays available. But if you have not signed up yet, make sure you go ahead and do that. You can get your ticket at megansumrell.com/plan. We've got it linked in the show notes below and I cannot wait to see you there.
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