One of the challenges of working from home is remaining focused throughout the workday. You can try applying the same events used in Scrum to stay productive while working from home. To do so, try running a personal one-day Sprint. Sprints work because they allow teams to select the top items that can be completed and focus on delivering them during a set period. The same approach can be applied to complete your to-do list. Try these daily activities to run a Personal One-Day Sprint:
1- "To-Do" Backlog Refinement – Start your day by refining your to-do list. Make sure the items on the list are in the order that you intend to complete them, listing the most valuable and possible items first. If an item cannot be completed into a single day, break it down into multiple items until it does. You do not have to refine the full list, having enough items for the next couple of days should suffice.
2- Daily Sprint Planning – Select the list of items that you can complete during that day. Only choose items at the top of the list. Consider adding them to timeslots. Don’t forget to take a lunch break. Keep an additional 20% of the day free of tasks. This will ensure that you don’t overcommit and can address miscellaneous items that may arise during the day.
3- Standup Checkpoint – Have two check points: one in the morning and one in the afternoon to check how you are progressing and make any adjustments as needed. Go over what you’ve completed and what’s ahead to pace yourself for the rest of the day. This step is useful for a perfectionist who might spend the full day on a single task trying to get it just right.
4- Daily Sprint Review – As tasks are completed, it is important that they are “done” and that you can put them to good use. Tasks should not go back to the task list for additional future work. If possible, have a colleague review the item and close them out.
5- Retrospective – At the end of the day, reflect on how you worked through the day and what changes you can make for your next one-day sprint to be even more productive the next time around.
6- Repeat this cycle on the following day.
After a while, these steps should become second nature. Who knows, you might prefer to work in this fashion even after we are all back in the office.