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Monday meeting: Don’t dread it; let it save you

Monday meeting

I bet anyone encountering this headline probably cringed and rolled into the fetal position. Monday meeting? But it was just Sunday Funday!

Indeed. Maybe the only two words you can combine and terrify more people than “Monday meeting” are “President Tr—,” eh, I won’t go there right now.

But what if the Monday meeting, instead of being a source of dread, could be a source of productivity?

Tier 1 on the Monday meeting

Thing you absolutely must understand: not every day at work is the same, nor should they be.

Your attitude about life on a Monday and a Friday, for example, are going to be extremely different.

As a result, the work you do should be different.

A lot of people misunderstand this and are just slaves to their calendar and email all five working days.

That’s dumb.

Each day needs a different flow and different energy.

As one small example, Friday afternoons are not a period for real work. They should be for planning and level-setting the next week.

Side note: if anyone ever invites you to a 3-4pm Friday meeting, they absolutely do not care about your idea.

OK. So if every day needs a cadence and purpose, what about Monday?

Facebook’s VP of Product and the Monday meeting

While I kinda hate Silicon Valley referring to every app update as “product,” I would guess being Facebook VP of Product is pretty cool. Half the Internet world uses the thing, so its products are certainly “at scale.” That’s a lot of stuff to manage, so when she gives interviews about how she manages her time, we should probably listen. Here’s one thing we’ll learn:

These aren’t metaphorical meetings, and they’re not negotiable. Simo blocks off between 30 and 60 minutes on her calendar every Monday morning to ensure that her actions are aligned with and supporting her intentions.

OK, cool. Others do this too. It’s called “uninterrupted meeting time.” How does she think it goes?

“My Monday solo meeting informs the things that I’m going to talk to my team about,” Simo says. “At the end of the day, they’re the ones who help scale this intention throughout the organization.”

This is all pretty logical, right?

Don’t just “hit the ground running” on Mondays

Because to many people, that means jumping into email and meetings.

This is a terrible way to roll into a new work week, because now you’re just task-task-task-task-task.

What about establishing some semblance of priority and context for how the next 4-5 days should look?

When you try to “hit the ground running,” you’re essentially about to prioritize shallow work. You’ll spend a lot of the week checking boxes, I’d reckon.

But if you set up a Monday meeting and think through what needs to be done, now you’re responding to the week instead of reacting to it. And you’re doing a small part to combat the biggest organizational problem of them all: lack of clarity and priority.

Get better at time management, monkey!

Because that’s the era we live in now, and short of having a trust fund, it’s the clearest path to wealth. Humans use their time horribly, so if you can use your time better, wouldn’t that logically be an advantage?

Funny how something we’re all inclined to dread — the Monday meeting concept — could actually be a source of strategic advantage for us, eh?

Ted Bauer

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