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Sprints method: How to keep focus and accomplish more work

Sprints method: How to keep focus and accomplish more work How to accomplish more work (Illustrative photo: Freepik)

A short attention span can have catastrophic consequences for productivity if when you have a lot of work. But instead of fighting this, you can use it to your advantage by working in sprints rather than trying to endure a marathon distance.

According to Lifehacker, the sprints method acknowledges that breaks are fundamental to productive work, making it an effective approach.

What is the sprints method

The sprints method, much like in sports, involves working in short bursts with breaks in between. This is its fundamental principle, leveraging breaks as a fundamental condition for productive work, making it an effective method.

Although similar to other methods involving work and timed breaks, sprinting is somewhat more flexible. You determine in advance how much time you need to (or can) focus and set a timer accordingly.

How to use the sprints method

The trick to using sprints lies in goal-setting. Start by defining a long-term goal, such as completing a major work project by the end of the week, and sprinting towards it using as many sprints as necessary.

Each sprint should also move you closer to smaller milestones, like completing a portion of a task. It's crucial to estimate how much time each smaller goal might take to ensure sprints remain brief.

Instead of adhering strictly to a 25-minute rule, adjust your timing based on your needs. This way, you won't be interrupted by a timer before finishing a mini-task, keeping you focused until completion.

If estimating time for each task part is challenging, consider ditching the timer and working through sprints until tasks are finished.

Метод спринту: як не втратити концентрацію і зробити більше робочих задач

How to use the sprints method at work (Illustrative photo: Freepik)

One of the most important elements of this approach is deep focus throughout the entire time needed to complete the task - thus, keeping distractions like phones and other things that divert attention away is crucial.

Since your goal is not just to work for a predetermined amount of time but to accomplish a specific task, during sprints, it's recommended to exert maximum effort without overly focusing on how much time it takes or whether everything is done perfectly.

For example, if you're writing an article, one sprint could be dedicated to drafting it. After a break, another sprint could focus on editing it.

Completing tasks in sprints gives you a sense of accomplishment that you might not get if you focus more on time than on results.

Additionally, interruptions during primary work prolong it, whereas sprints allow you to be more focused on the task.

Remember to take breaks

It's advised not to skimp on breaks - no matter how much time a task takes, give yourself about half of that time for recovery before moving on to the next.

If a task takes you 30 minutes to complete, take a 15-minute break before reviewing it. This method involves short tasks rather than long, marathon-like endeavors, so prioritize breaks and recovery periods.

Earlier we discussed prioritizing tasks for better efficiency.