Guest post by Jennifer Savage, Director of Partner Marketing at Smartsheet.
There’s a good and bad day for just about everything. If you want more engagement on your Facebook post, the best day to publish is Friday. If you want to give a successful presentation, the best day to schedule it is Tuesday morning. If you want to hold an efficient meeting, Tuesday is also the winner.
But, what is the best day for productivity? When should you start a new project? And how can you boost productivity any day of the week?
We’ve got all these answers and more for you to maximise your productivity during the week.
At Smartsheet, we look at a lot of anonymous app data to gain insights about the way people work. Since Smartsheet is used by over 62,000 companies globally to manage projects and tasks, it’s a great tool to measure individual and team productivity. All of the data remains private and secure.
To figure out how to maximize productivity, we analyzed work activity during a five-week period. We measured the total amount of these activities and grouped them by day of the week and hour of the day. All data is measured in Pacific Time.
Based on the productivity patterns we discovered, here are four dos and don’ts to improve productivity any day of the week:
Do collaborate strategically
In Smartsheet, users create a new sheet whenever they want to start a new project. “Sheet sharing” is when someone shares their “sheet” with another person. This action is directly connected to working with other people, as you’re sharing project information with a colleague or external collaborator (like a consultant or vendor). If you don’t share a sheet, you’re probably working independently.
There are good and bad days for collaboration during the week. Wednesday is the most collaborative, with the most sheet shares of any other day. There are 12% more sheets shared on Wednesday than on Monday and 20% more than on Friday.
So, the next time you need to collaborate with a someone on a project, stop for a moment and think about the best time to reach out to him or her. Beginning the collaboration process at the right time will help your project in the long run, as your colleague won’t be distracted with other projects and will have the mental capacity to join a new one.
Don’t work on difficult tasks after lunch
If you put off your most challenging tasks, they’ll only get harder. It’s best to start your complicated, in-depth projects before lunch when your mind is still fresh.
In fact, we found that 8-9 AM PST (11am-12pm EST) is the best time for productivity. With the West Coast just arriving in the office and the East Coast not yet at lunch, this timeframe has the most sheet sharing and sheet creation.
On average, there are 30% more sheets created from 8-9 AM PST than 2-3pm PST, indicating that more new projects begin before lunch than after lunch. It’s also a better time for collaboration, with 22% more sheets shared to other people than the next hour (9-10AM PST) and 71% more sheets shared than 3-4 PM PST.
Don’t begin a new project on Friday
Friday has the lowest amount of app activity of the whole work week. On average, Friday has 20% less total activity than on Wednesday. And, there are fewer projects created on Friday and less collaboration with colleagues.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but at the end of the work week, we’re either too mentally drained to start a new project or too busy completing current tasks to begin something new. So, schedule your new projects accordingly. If you need to collaborate with colleagues, Friday is not ideal. Everyone will be focused on finishing their work before the weekend.
Do prioritise tasks
You shouldn’t slack off on Fridays, even though they aren’t the ideal days for starting new projects. And you shouldn’t save all your projects for Wednesday, even though that is the best day for productivity. Instead, use these data patterns to plan your work accordingly.
Save your administrative tasks or quick to-dos for the end of the week, when you’re least likely to start a new project. And schedule your creative, in-depth projects for earlier in the week, when colleagues are more likely to collaborate and you have more mental capacity.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
We all have good days and bad days. But, there are actually some days that are better than others for productivity.
So, stop forcing creativity on Fridays if you just don’t have any inspiration. And, stop tackling problems after lunch, when you’re sleepy and full. Instead, work smarter by being aware of your work routines so you can get more done at the best times.
Smartsheet is a Gold sponsor of DocuSign MOMENTUM’15 London. To learn more, visit Smartsheet in the Partner Pavillion.