If you’re trying to make every minute count, focus your efforts on Tuesdays. It turns out that is the most productive day of the week.
That’s according to an Accountemps survey—a conclusion it has made four times before: 1987, 1998, 2002, and 2007. Yet again in this year’s survey by the temporary staffing agency, more human resources managers still see Americans revving up efforts on Tuesdays in particular.
Some 39% of the 300 US HR managers surveyed said workers are generally most productive on Tuesdays, while 24% named Monday. Indeed, Mondays gained some momentum compared to previous surveys, while HR managers scaled back on on Tuesday. In 2007, 57% named it the best day to accomplish something.
So what are the worst days for workers’ output? Thursdays and Fridays, each chosen by 3% of HR managers.
The information comes in handy for bosses as they figure out deadlines and set goals and rewards for maintaining momentum later in the week, says Kimberly Stiener-Murphy, the Accountemps branch manager in Sacramento, California. “‘Mr. Worker, if you finish this on Friday, you can go home early,’ “
Meanwhile, if workers want to rev up their productivity at the end of the week, they may want to sign out of email and social media and give their full attention to the task at hand, Accountemps noted. Also focus on one important project, and don’t bop back and forth between four or five.
She noted that the next two Tuesdays—the day before Christmas and New Year’s Eves—may be exceptions. She suggested managers strategize and set some clear goals for the week—or else every day next week could feel like a Friday.
Maybe they need to pump up the peppermint or the lights. Or maybe they need to find quiet focus time throughout the week. One group at Intel gives everyone four hours of “think time” to concentrate on important problems or projects.
If you’re looking for the very best time—what Accountemps calls “the productivity power play”—schedule your appointment from 10am to noon on a Tuesday following a vacation. Since many workplaces will have some vacation around Christmas and New Year’s, that means Jan. 7 could be a real powerhouse of a day.