Ever come down with a case of the Mondays?
The Monday blues can get the best of all of us. In fact, one study has pinpointed the exact time—11:17 am—when the Monday mood hits rock bottom.
One of the reasons we dread Mondays is because everything that’s carried over from the previous Friday and everything that’s on deck for the coming week all hit us at once. The pressure’s on. The inbox is full. You’re busy digging out. You need a game plan to get going.
If there was ever a time when you needed focus, creativity and a clear head, this is it. And nothing can interrupt that flow or pull you further off course than yet another meeting.As a company that focuses on thinking and the brain, this is something we’re acutely tuned into to. The brain simply isn’t good at task switching. Researchers at UC Irvine found that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds after an interruption to get back on track with the original task.
But that’s only part of the story.
We know that our team needs the time for deep work, what author Cal Newport calls “the killer app of the knowledge economy.” Solving tough problems, thinking critically, putting together ideas, developing a strategy for the week ahead (or even further out into the future)—they all require concentrated time and focus. There’s nothing worse than facing a cognitively demanding day at work without the benefit of your full attention.
There’s also nothing better than getting into that state of flow where there are no distractions and you can experience the rush of pushing yourself and tackling the tough challenges with all your mental resources firing.
With that in mind, we recently decided to institute a policy of meetingless Mondays at Herrmann that we’re calling Think Days. This not only allows our employees to spend uninterrupted time on one of their most important responsibilities—thinking—it’s also a great way to make those dreaded Mondays something we can actually look forward to.
How much time are you are spending on deep work? How about your employees? Try giving people (including yourself) the gift of a meetingless day, and see what a difference it makes. Your brain will thank you!
Protecting time for deep work is critical to optimize team performance. When you do need to get together, though, it's important to make the most out of meeting time. Click below to download your toolkit for better meetings.