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How to successfully implement a No Meeting Day at your company

5 min read
Setting aside one day per week to focus on heads-down work without being interrupted by meetings can increase productivity and reduce stress.
I did some research and spoke with workers who have successfully, and unsuccessfully, tried to implement a No Meeting Day at their workplaces so you can have an easier time trying to do the same. But first, let's dig into the benefits of a No Meeting Day.

Companies from Shopify to Facebook to Asana have embraced the "No Meeting Day."

More focus, less wasted time

Eight hours of uninterrupted Focus Time means less context switching. "You don't have to spend the 10 minutes before a meeting winding down one task and prepping for the meeting — and then another 15–30 minutes after a meeting wrapping up loose ends and getting your focus back," time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders wrote about why she implemented a No Meeting Day at her firm, Real Life E Time Coaching & Speaking. "You simply work."

Context switching is deadly for focus and productivity. According to researcher Sophie Leroy, when you switch tasks a part of your brain is still thinking about the previous task. It takes some time for those thoughts to quiet down so you can concentrate fully on the task at hand. In the meantime, your performance suffers. Researchers call this phenomenon called "attention residue." And studies show it takes 25 minutes and 26 seconds on average to get back to the level of efficiency you were at before an interruption. This means task shifting, even briefly, can cost as much as 40% of your productive time.

The other big benefit to a No Meeting Day is that it can help cut down on the number of meetings. The average worker attends 62 meetings per month and considers half of those meetings a waste of time.

So a successful No Meeting Day can be a huge boon for worker happiness and efficiency. But how do you implement one successfully?

Don't go it alone

If you're in a leadership role, it can be tempting to just mandate a No Meeting Day for your team. That's what happened to Michael Breuker, President at Pinnacle Management Systems, Inc. at a previous company.

Cathy Reisenwitz
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