Do you have phone “meeting days”?

Ever plan to work on a project at a certain time, but then a client urgently needs to speak with you, pushing that project to the wayside?

For some creatives, it seems the more they plan, the more their plans go awry. How to deal? Here is a question that Stacey King Gordon, Freelance Copywriter and Web Content Strategist at Night Writer Communications, posted on the Creative Freelancer Conference LinkedIn Group:

Meeting days: is this something that you do?

As I get busier with project work, I’m looking for ways to become more efficient. One of my biggest problems is that I schedule hours to work on projects, but then get waylaid by (phone) meetings. I have clients who like to have meetings for any old thing, and often my calendar fills up with them leaving me little time to do actual work. It’s like I’m working in corporate all over again.

I’m considering setting aside two days a week for meeting days and telling my clients I’m only available those two days. Maybe I’ll set aside an hour or so each of the other days just in case there’s a true emergency that can’t wait, but I feel like this would be more predictable and help me focus on project work without interruption on my non-meeting days.

Have you done something like this? How did your clients react? How did it affect your productivity levels?

BTW: if you need help fitting your marketing “to do’s” into you schedule, check out the Creative Professional’s Marketing Plan + Calendar. You can start it anytime.

4 thoughts on “Do you have phone “meeting days”?

  1. elizabeth

    I started doing this in the last 6 months and it has worked out great! I reserve either Wednesdays or Thursdays (so it gives the meeting scheduler a bit of flexibility) and then I include any “outings” on that day — including errands (post office, bank, store), lunches (friends or clients), meetings. Anything that requires me to leave my home-studio gets put into that particular day. Then I’m left with 4-5 remaining days to just focus on work!

  2. DHC

    Our initial objective was “to accommodate” and we found that most of our time was sitting in conference rooms for hours with little input. It’s definitely important to set days for meetings; to take it a step further, create an agenda to ensure that all items are addressed in a timely fashion.

  3. Luke Mysse

    I try to only meet on Tuesday and or Thursday and never on Monday or Friday. I’ve found the more I can lump ‘like’ tasks together, the more efficient I work. Example: I have trouble going from a meeting straight into any productive design time however I can go from meeting to meeting just fine. Also harder for me to design or work after a meeting so I will typically book meetings in the afternoon if possible so I can work in the morning.
    My goal each week is to attain my “perfect work week” which goes something like this…
    Monday – Admin, my own business stuff, leave early.
    Tuesday – Client meetings and or biz dev.
    Wednesday – swing day – mostly work but open for afternoon meeting if needed.
    Thursday – Meetings and networking day.
    Friday – big office work day (nothing like the feeling of checking things off your list before the weekend).
    Add in a bunch of play time, riding bikes, couple happy hours and some leaving early, I can pretty much call it a perfect week.
    What does yours look like? Write it down, give yourself something to shoot for…
    (yes I know the real perfect week is vacation but we are talking about work week here)

  4. Alisa Bonsignore

    I am pretty fanatical about limiting my phone time, not necessarily by day but by setting parameters within my day. There are never phone calls before 10 AM. That’s not to say that I’m not working before 10 — I’ve often checked half a dozen tasks off my list by then — but it allows me to make some headway before the craziness starts. And like Luke, I try to avoid scheduling anything on Monday or Friday, just as a matter of personal preference.