Tired of your calls being ignored, your emails going unanswered and your meeting requests being rejected? You may just be timing it wrong. Studies have shown that there is actually an optimal time of day to do each of these things. Here is a simple layout of the tasks you should (and shouldn’t) do throughout the day.
6:00 – 8:00AM – Send Out Emails
Though multiple studies have suggested that checking your emails first thing in the morning is a bad idea as it will distract you from more important tasks, people continue to check their Outlook as soon as they get in the office door. As all of your partners and customers are sifting through emails while sipping on their morning coffee, go ahead and send out your communications when they’re most likely to be seen immediately.
Around 8:00AM – Make Ethical Decisions
Experiments carried out by researchers from both Harvard University and the University of Utah discovered a phenomenon called the “morning morality effect.” In essence, computer-based experiments on undergraduate students as well as working adults showed that people were more likely to have stronger moral character in the morning than in the afternoon. When given the opportunity to cheat or lie to earn more money, participants were significantly more likely to take the opportunity during the afternoon. As Harvard researcher, Maryam Kouchaki explains, “Self-control is like a muscle. It’s restored when we rest and eat. Basically, we have a limited amount of self-regulatory resources available to us at one time.
9:00AM – Avoid Meetings
One huge issue with scheduling meetings is finding a time that fits everyone’s calendar. It is much more likely that more people will schedule themselves to appear “busy” in the mornings to avoid these types of meetings, so avoid the morning times altogether if at all possible.
1:00-2:00PM – Don’t Make Calls
This is especially true on Friday afternoons. 1-2pm is normally when everyone is getting back from their lunch breaks (or may still be out), and the last thing they want to do is come back to the office and sit in on a call. They’re most likely still distracted and will be browsing the Internet for Facebook and sports updates while you try to carry on an important discussion. Studies have shown that making calls in the morning rather than in the early afternoon has about a 164% higher success rate.
3:00PM – Make Meetings
This is especially applicable to Tuesday afternoons. No one wants to sit in on a meeting first thing Monday morning, and Tuesday is still early enough in the day that your employees or customers shouldn’t be burned out and anxiously awaiting Friday night.