A Highly Productive Sprint18 Nov 2014
We all get pushed and pressed sometimes. Whether it's an impending deadline, more of an every week is too short kind of deal, or getting stuff done in advance because of going away for some time - we've all been known to get out act together and just get things done at an astounding pace (and hopefully - with a good result too).
What is the best approach then?
Is it the best idea to just get plunged into work, forget eating, sleeping and breaking and simply squeezing every last bit of effort out of yourself? It may be! But there are some things you could do in order to help yourself out.
Plan a time line with accordance to your habits
There's no point to say that you'll be getting up at 6am to do the work, if it's normal for you to sleep until 9. You know yourself best, so be honest and point out what is your most productive time of day and maybe extend this by an hour before and after to make the most of your effective working hours.
Stick to this plan
A clever way to make sure you keep your deadline is making it public. Use social media or just speak to your friends about your commitment and the plan, they will be sure to mock you if you don't hold up to your words! Alternatively, if a prospective reward is a better motivator for you, plan a rewarding night out, the purchase of a long-desired item or a little holiday. Then you'd have something to look forward to at the end of this productive run. Any of these two will create a good amount of pressure, motivating you to do what you're meant to.
More on the plan: make outlines of what you need to do each day
These can be rough estimates, just to give you an idea of what amount of tasks more-less you should have done by the end of the day. Very much like on a route map, let yourself see where exactly you are on the road to completing the job.
Yes, yet more planning
Once you've set out the general goal, and estimated more less what you'll be doing each day, it's a great idea to decide on a good sprint length for you. If you aim to work for 8 hours a day, you might like to do 30 or 45-minute long sprints with 10 minute breaks in between them. Or, if your focus is better than 45 minutes, try doing 1,5 hours with 10-15 minutes of rest. This way the day seems shorter and you get a satisfying feeling of completion after each run. Whichever system you decide on, it's highly recommended to take little walks (even if it's around the room) every so often, just to get the circulation going.
The overall benefits
Doing that kind of a productive sprint benefits you not only in the short term, but it also lets you prove to yourself how much you can get done within a given amount of time, once properly motivated. This can not only boost your self-confidence, but can work as motivation to further exceed your expectations of yourself.
A fantastic help to run a highly productive sprint is Kanban Tool.
Once you know the goal, plan your sprint's process in Kanban Tool's columns, then split the job into task items as small as possible, place them in the backlog and pull tasks when you're ready for them. Use due dates, comments, checklists and the Calendar and My Work widgets to plan even more meticulously. Success and pleasure in running towards the goal are guaranteed.