The Importance of Working in Sprints

While we cannot say that we are the pioneers who came up with this wonderful idea, we do believe in it to the extent that it has become embedded within our culture. Working in sprints, or production focused chunks of time, is a proven method to work more effectively; producing a higher quality of work product without mentally exhausting yourself.

How it Works

A sprint is most often a 2 hour block of hyper-focused production time. This time is spent heads-down working to maximum efficiency and often results in extremely high-quality work and an overall feeling of achievement and purpose. Sprints can be extended to 3 or even 4 hours in some cases but research has shown that optimal performance comes in 2 hour sprints with a  minimum of 30 minutes of down time in between. These sprints empower you to be highly productive while maintaining energy and sanity.

Why it is So Effective

Austin Evarts, in his post Working in Sprints: The secret to Remote Entrepreneurship and Ultra Mobility describes how working in sprints increases work performance by allowing your mind time away from your work task to take in other new experiences, which he points out have been scientifically proven to increase your overall happiness.

The reason this method of working is effective is it allows you to take period breaks to ‘re-charge.’  Human beings are not built to sit at a desk or in front of a computer for 8+ hours at one time. Even with a half hour lunch break in between 4 hour work sessions can cause your afternoon efficiency to slow to halt. Sprints allow you to stay focused by staying fresh. Think about it, if you know you only need to work for 2 hours and then get to take a quick break for a snack and an some reading or a walk – wouldn’t you be more liable to put the time in and enjoy the reward?

More Information

Sprints in Agile Project Management »
Sprint in Scrum Methodology »

Nick Eubanks

Nick Eubanks is a Managing Partner at Factor Media, and is currently the VP of Digital Strategy at W.L. Snook & Associates. He blogs at SEO Nick and you can find him on twitter @nick_eubanks and Google+.

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