Work Sprints – Super productive social jam sessions!

While individual autonomy is awesome, it comes with huge tradeoffs—namely, the ultimate responsibility of having to manage everything yourself.

In this world of endless distractions, the need to get good at making quality focus time becomes that much more important.

At the same time, if you’re trying to build a community, you have to contend with the fact that everyone is “busy.”

It’s hard to attract people to your program when everyone’s so “busy.” This is your fix.

People don’t have time to be social when there’s work to get done. You can circumvent that! Incorporate increased focus and productivity into a program, so there’s no chance anyone could confuse it for being a distraction.

Enter: Work Sprints!

Work Sprints are very simple but exceedingly powerful: gather people together at a designated space and time, ensure everyone has a plan for exactly what they need to focus on, set a timer, and get jamming!

Work Sprints take the wildly successful Pomodoro Technique, geared towards the individual, and socializes it.

While a 25-minute Pomodoro session can bring great focus and productivity, you’re only going to get as far as your own personal discipline.

In a social setting, where the people alongside you are sharing in that commitment with you, it’s a lot harder to goof off!

The effect of being in a space where everyone is committed to focusing on something at the same time is hard to describe. But it’s really quite powerful.

Once the sprint ends, you get an amazing reward: free time! You can check Facebook guilt-free. You can chat with your neighbor. You can do whatever you you want! That is, until it’s time to start the timer again.

This leads to a natural rhythm of focus, relax, and repeat. (Not unlike high intensity interval training… interesting!)

How to set up a Work Sprint

To run a Work Sprint, you need a few things:

  1. Pick a location.
    It could be a single large table in a shared space, or a private room, but it should have some sense of boundary. This is a specific place dedicated to this purpose for this time.
  2. Pick a date and time.
    You can play with different approaches to this, but I’ve found the most success between 10:00-12:00 and 2:00-5:00.
  3. Set the schedule.
    You can decide how long you want the focus sessions and breaks to be. The standard Pomodoro format is 25:00 focus / 5:00 break, but I’ve found people tend to want to focus for longer periods, so consider 50:00 focus / 10:00 break.
  4. Invite people to join!
    Remember that you should personally recruit your first three to five attendees in person yourself. Never rely on newsletters or social media for your first few people 🙂
  5. Set up a visible timer.
    At the gathering, use a tablet, stopwatch, or some other visual timer so it’s obvious to the group (and potentially distracting passersby) that the focus session is happening.
  6. Celebrate!
    Give yourselves a chance to enjoy the fact that you did this. It’ll help get you energized and inspired to do it again.

While the actual work you each do may be individual, by creating this intentional space, you’re forging a shared experience that will give people opportunities to form stronger bonds.

Every stronger bond formed makes your community that much more special.

Want to save a bunch of time?

I’ve got templates for you! Event copy, flyers, explanations of how it works, you name it.

It’s all included in my Coworking Toolkit and in membership in my online support group, both of which include lots more resources to help you save time as you build a thriving space.

Learn more about the Coworking Toolkit and membership for more!