Usually, I have an interest in improving the ways I work. Not necessarily to increase my workload as an effect, but because working smarter and better undoubtedly does no harm.
When talking about productivity, meetings always get a bad rep for being unproductive. I disagree. As long as you have a meeting for the right reason and stick to an agenda, meetings are awesome. Plus, the social aspect is important. It improves relationships.
Looking back at the fall however, I have some important changes to how I will be scheduling meetings going forward that could be summed up in a simple rule:
Work early. Meet late.
This could unfortunately be different depending on you being a morning person or not, but I am convinced that having a free morning (at least until lunch) is good for your productivity. It’s simply when you are the least exhausted and can get into work the easiest.
Afternoons, and late afternoons in particular are when I have the hardest to focus. Scheduling meetings at these times makes the most use of the day, because you will get an added boost through meeting people that likely makes you able to still power through the meeting brilliantly, even though you might not have been productive by yourself.
Additionally, clustering meetings to a given day of the week could also do wonders. I have found that days with client meetings usually means I have a harder time getting back to focus. A solution to that is clustering meetings together so that you have a day when you’re in “meeting mode”, which clearly requires a different mindset than working alone and focusing.
If I can help it, my meetings going forward are going to be increasingly scheduled in the later part of the afternoon, leaving the rest of the day freed up for work and clustered together so that I am able to power through the week efficiently and in the end, freeing up more time to relax!