It’s a harsh reality that shouldn’t be sugar-coated: too many of the people in this space are overworked. What we often see happens is an “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to output during busy seasons within one’s business- it’s the idea that we have to push, push, push, and then just continue on in growth mode.
First of all, let’s define a sprint. Sprints, and everything that happens within them, can look different from one business or one CEO to another, but think of them as a hyperfocused period with a specific mission to have achieved at the end of a given time. This may be anything from a dedicated “all hands on deck- get this product launched” or “offer suite overhaul with client work paused” period. Typically this can look like a sprint week or even a sprint month for those who are experts at leading their team through healthy sprints.
Lets put it this way- imagine you have to leave for a big event at 7 PM. You’re doing your hair, makeup, putting on a snazzy outfit, and pulling out all the stops. However, you know you won’t be home from your daytime activities until 6:15, which leaves you with a short window to get everything done. You could either:
-Rush home to rip through your closet trying on everything in your wardrobe, hurl the “no’s” onto the ground, dump out your makeup case looking for that one lip color you love, and end up with a giant mess by the time you need to leave. You get home late from the event and are simply too exhausted to pick up the pieces, so you just go to bed somewhere in the sea of clothes and cosmetics that are strewn about.
-Rush home to throw on a pre-selected outfit you know you’ll love, apply all of your beauty and grooming essentials that you laid out on the counter earlier that morning, snap a quick selfie because you’re feeling great, and even have time to put away those few tools you used. You get home late from a great night and slip into your favorite pajamas with a grin because your space is clean and collected thanks to all of your organization ahead of time.
Why Does Quick Burnout Happen?
The dreaded quick burnout is a phenomenon in which sprints are entered into hastily, without proper planning, or a lack of proper systems- leaving you with a sense of “how do I pick up the pieces?” after every single busy season. You may be in the throws of selling and delivering, only to burnout when it’s time to sell again because you’re trying to chase a moving target (i.e choosing that outfit minutes before you need to leave, or frantically trying to deliver upon a promise to clients while setting up your next sales period).
This is an all too tempting trap because sprint weeks can be hyper-productive and feel great to come out of, which tricks some people into believing they can just repeat the process without any sort of in-between time. If you’re managing a team, this means you’re likely confusing your message by demonstrating disorganization and a lack of commitment to normal SOPs. Essentially, this means attempting to sprint so much that there’s no gas left in the tank and the whole thing just comes to a screeching halt.
How Can You Sprint in Longterm Growth Mode?
In no way are sprints a bad thing, they’re simply a powerful thing that should be treated as an intentional phase to operate in and out of. It’s completely possible, if not likely, that someone on a longterm growth trajectory will indeed have sprint periods built into their growth plan. However the difference between this method and a quick burnout is that there is no big “what now, do I have to keep hustling, is the other shoe going to drop?” type of worry because you’re simply returning to a predetermined level of output after the sprint.
This may look like…
Week One & Two Sprint Weeks: All hands on deck with evergreen funnel duties, client work is paused with customers being pre-communicated with, and team or contractors have created the space to be able to fight fires at a moment’s notice if necessary. Predetermined goals for the evergreen funnel have been met by the end of the period, and any tasks left over are to be evaluated so they can either be handled quickly or moved to the next sprint week.
Week Two & Three Come Down Weeks: A return to normal day-to-day operations with a set schedule, no late nights burning the midnight oil, simply a period to return to the energy output (or even slightly less) that one would normally give during a calm, low-stress week.
When healthy, long-term growth is the plan, it’s important to be realistic about what can be accomplished inside of a sprint week, while also preparing for how to recover from it.
If productivity and sustainable long-term growth are on your agenda (I mean, #SAME), then join me inside of Business Expansion Blueprint and learn how to optimize your business for sustainable growth and long-term expansion by revamping infrastructure to meet-or-beat your revenue goals.
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