Make Time For Critical Thinking by Nixing Morning Meetings

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Meetings are often thought of as productivity killers -- a necessary evil that takes away from meaningful work. But meetings do have their purpose, time and place. And that right time might not be in the mornings. 

Andrew Fingerman, CEO of PhotoShelter, says he declines all meeting invitations that start before noon. As someone with ADHD, he finds his morning hours is when he does his best critical thinking, and those hours need to be protected. 

“The impact on my productivity has been astounding," he told Fast Company, "As someone who also has ADHD, I’ve found that mornings are imperative for work that requires my highest level of critical thinking. So, if someone desperately needs to meet with me in the morning, I almost always decline and ask instead if we can pick a time in the afternoon. The only condition on which I’ll cave is if the meeting perfectly aligns with my top priorities.”

The Muse reports having taken on a similar tactic. On what they call "Winning Wednesdays," no meetings can be scheduled between 9 am and 1 pm. 

“The most common complaints were that people didn’t have enough consistent thinking time because meetings would interrupt so frequently,” VP of people and talent, Toni Thompson, said. “There are a couple meetings people have told me they can’t stop, but if the effort cuts down on even 70% of unproductive meetings and replaces those with lots of productivity, creativity, and employee sanity, it’s worth it.”

If you feel meetings are plaguing your life and stopping you from getting meaningful work done, protect your mornings (or whichever time of day suits you best). That particular timeslot, whether daily or weekly, will provide uninterrupted protected time to complete creative work, critical thinking, or it can be used for something outside of work that energizes you.

Protect your time to protect your mindset and wellbeing.