Why are meetings 60 minutes?

Seriously…why? I have yet to find any good research that explains why a meeting has to be 60 mins. I wonder if we default to 60 mins because our brain has been trained to think in one hour and 1/2 hour increments for some reason. If anyone has run across any research on this topic please share!

Ryan why does this matter?

I know it seems silly to think about how long your default meeting times are but keep in mind Parkinson’s Law and how it impacts your workday and daily schedule.

Parkinson’s Law:
Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.

If we give a meeting 60 minutes it will take 60 minutes even if we complete everything in 20 mins. Wouldn’t it be nice to get that time back? I personally would love to have some extra time during my day so I updated my Google Calendar to make my default meeting time 45 minutes.

Why 45 minutes?

  • Shorter meetings mean getting to the point faster and staying focused since our time is shorter.
  • Since most meetings tend to start on the 1/2 hour or hour a 45-minute meeting gives me a 15-minute buffer to decompress and think after the meeting.
  • The 15-minute buffer also helps in case the first meeting runs long. If we go over a bit it’s ok since I don’t have to immediately rush to the next item on my calendar.

Setting up your default meeting time in Google Calendar

Updating your default meeting time in Google Calendar is a simple three step process.

Step 1: Open your Google Calendar.

Step 2: In your Google Calendar click on the gear and then settings.

Step 3: Scroll down to Event Settings. This dropdown will allow you to set the default duration for new events.  

After completing this any new calendar event that you create will default to be whatever duration you set here! If you need a meeting to be 60 minutes you can override these settings when creating your cal invite. This is a small but effective way to help regain some of your time during the day.

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