When you have a massive pile of work to get through — or just feel like being extra productive — a “productivity sprint” can help you maximise your output and skyrocket your motivation.
Photo by Roman Boed
Normal productivity is like a jog; you're keeping pace and completing work at an adequate level. But when you have a deadline or a holiday coming up, you want to reach the finish line a little faster and keep yourself driven the whole way. Enter the productivity sprint.
We've touched on some of these concepts before, but Leo Babauta at Zenhabits recommends using these five rules together for productive sprints:
- Create time pressure: If you don't have a deadline already, make a real one. Schedule a trip, party, meeting, or any other kind of promise to others that puts the pressure on.
- Map out your work: Schedule the entirety of each and every day leading up to your deadline.
- Carve out your productive time: Set specific work time each day dedicated to each of your tasks and make it sacred. Nothing else can be done during those times. Nothing.
- Work in smaller sprints: Work hard for set periods of time with plenty of short breaks to recover.
- Tell people about it: The most important part. As you power through your work, playfully brag about how much you've done. It feels awesome.
With these guidelines, you can map out a week of high output while building the momentum to keep yourself moving forward. Keep in mind, however, that you won't want to work at this level all the time. It's called a sprint for a very good reason, and we can only sprint for so long before we get burned out.
The Productive Sprint [Zenhabits]