The maker and manager schedules are often at odds. In an agency like Culture Foundry, we keep Wednesday free of meetings. This allows everyone to be heads down and doing deep work for at least one day a week. I think the practice isn’t as valuable for indivdual contributors because they typically have stretches of time to do deep work every day. But, I think that managers and client focused team members benefit tremendously. Because their schedules are usually meeting driven it can be difficult to carve out time for focused work. Having a day on the calendar which is meeting free can give them permission to say no to interrupts.
Some guidelines based on what we’ve done:
- Try it for everyone. If you are small, make it company wide. If you are large, maybe just the team.
- Add it to the calendar. This makes it more real.
- Move all standing meetings away from the chosen day.
- Leverage async tools like Trello and slack for communicating. This allows folks to stay in the flow and pull messages rather than have messages pushed to them.
- Don’t be religious about it. If there is a fire (mad client, server down), have a meeting.
- Ad-hoc two person sync ups about work don’t count as meetings, they count as getting work done. But if either party thinks of it as a meeting, discuss and get on the same page.
- Nothing is permanent. You can give it a try for 3 months and see if it works for your organization
Do you have meeting free days or times?