Sprint – A model of and argument for doing shit quick

I’ve got an idea percolating here. It sprouted from four things:

  1. A conversation my friend Zach and I had where told me the story of a guy he knows who’s super health-nutty… This guy did lots of research and came to the conclusion that the human body was made for sprints, not long distance running.
  2. This problem I have at work where there are times of looooooong mediocre-ness and short bursts of ass kicking productivity.
  3. Espresso. A small shot packing big impact… on your brain, on your energy, on your motivation, and possibly on your guts.
  4. Smoke breaks. I don’t smoke, so I don’t get them.

What if you sprinted at work? What if you had a long day of short sprints broken up with varying breaks? What if you could dive into something completely, abandoned, for 25 minutes straight?

The truth is, those bursts of productivity, the short, ass-kicking ones, accomplish a ton. Honestly… if I have two of those short bursts in one day, it’s very possible that I would accomplish more than I would in a whole day of mediocre productivity.

So, what’s required for these productivity sprints?

You must have things to do. You must have actual work to do. Phone calls to make. Emails to send. Communications to accomplish. Writings to write. Drawings to draw. Designs to design. Code to code.

You have to know what you need to do. None of this lolly gagging, researching, filtering, searching, and guessing about what you should do right now. It’s f^cking go time already.

Your coworkers should understand what you need to do… and not interrupt you and and give you new stuff to do at all hours of the day.

Your boss needs to be ok with it.

What would productivity sprints look like?

It would look like going real hard for 20-40 minutes at a time, then breaking for 15 minutes to check twitter, visit some links, go for a walk, have a cigarette. Then Going another 20-40 minutes, completing a task or two… then breaking again. Lunch looks like 30 minutes of eating, 30 minutes of chilling out.

“But isn’t that just NOT WORKING AS MUCH AS YOU ARE CURRENTLY WORKING!? I wasn’t born yesterday. You check in at 8, you check out at 5; your ass is mine between.”- Sincerely, Boss

You have to ask yourself a question: Do you want to measure employees by the amount of time spent in the office, or by the amount of work completed? Because I think it’s worth looking at the difference.

So, here’s my question: Do humans, especially humans in knowledge working situations, accomplish more in compact, defined sprints, or in long days of work? Plz enlighten me!