Using 30/60/90 Day Sprints To Prevent Overwhelm

Spoiler: on average, business owners spend only 20% of their time doing the things they love to do in their business - what you do with that other 80% sets you up for success.
Using 30/60/90 Day Sprints To Prevent Overwhelm

Using 30/60/90 Day Sprints To Prevent Overwhelm

It’s time to take action. Whether you’re reading this in Q3 2022 (when this article was posted), or years later, consider this your sign to give yourself that swift kick in the rump to get started.

The number one job, the absolute number one job, of an entrepreneur or a small business owner is growing the business, which means YOUR number one job is growing your business. Or put another way, you don’t have a business if you don’t grow the business, right? Nothing else matters if you don’t have clients and you can’t fix your processes for getting those clients if you don’t have one to begin with.
This is what I teach my clients and is my favorite thing to dive into – process. But if you don’t have a process in place for the actions you’re going to take, you’ll quickly run out of time in your day-to-day to do anything else. I speak to this more in-depth over in the Facebook group, where I break down the 80/10/10 rule. Spoiler: on average, business owners spend only 20% of their time doing the things they love to do in their business – what you do with that other 80% sets you up for success.
And that’s where process circles back around, more specifically the process around leveraging sprints in your business to GSD.

Sprints vs Marathons

Often, business owners feel like they’re running a never ending race. It’s a constant stream of go-go-go energy, trying to keep up with everything happening around you, reacting to every bump in the road. And when it comes to managing tasks, everything is one obstacle away – meaning it only gets done when it gets in the way of you doing the next thing. If this has been you up to this point, it’s time to get those processes in place, starting first with establishing sprints in your business.
Sprints are short bursts to get a set number of tasks completed within a shorter window of time versus that never ending race. As business owners, we tend to feel more productive and accomplished when we’re able to tick things off the to-do list. But if that to-do list seems to never get shorter, it can feel like you’re failing. Instead, in sprints we set tasks that can be accomplished within a set window of time. This means every task we look at MUST be assessed from a realistic standpoint – can it realistically be done within the set timeframe. 
These sprints then funnel into the bigger picture, the marathon. In a marathon, you pace yourself. Go too hard too early and you’ll tucker out before the halfway point. Move too slow and it can feel like you’ll never reach the finish line. It’s a balancing act, and many avid runners will keep a steady pace throughout, just like we need to do within our business in order to not get overwhelmed.
Now, in the running world, sprints and marathons are on completely opposite sides, but in business sprints and marathons often go hand-in-hand. Your sprints help to keep the pace of the marathon steady and manageable. So let’s look at how you can get started.

30/60/90 Day Sprint Planning

There’s 5 main steps to any sprint planning:

1. Identify The Timeframe

Start first with picking the length of time for your sprint. I recommend starting out with a 30-day sprint to get into the flow of things, and then expand to a 60 and 90 day sprint once you’ve successfully completed that first 30-day sprint.

2. Identify Available Resources

Your resources may include everything from the software you use to the programs you’re in and even to the members of your team. When planning a sprint, we want to keep in mind everything (and everyone) that will be needed to make the sprint successful. 

3. Set Realistic Tasks

What can you realistically complete within the timeframe identified but still be pushing yourself? Think critically here – we want to make sure these are tasks that are doable so you don’t set yourself up for failure, but we also don’t want to underestimate and hold ourselves back from great achievements. If you’ve got a big task that will take significantly more time than you have planned for your sprint, break it up into more manageable bites – it’s OK if an overarching task stretches across multiple sprints, we can make progress on the smaller steps needed for the big task to be complete.

4. Set Expectations & Outcomes

The next question to ask yourself is what do you want to see happen at the end of this sprint – what outcomes are you expecting to see? It’s important to set those expectations early in the sprint process, and then be sure to establish a tracking process into the sprint to monitor the progress of the sprint so you can adjust if needed.

5. Implement & Execute The Sprint

Once you have your tasks, it’s time to assign your resources identified in step 2 (this means, assigning team members, tools, software, etc. to the task). Don’t forget to include the task of planning out your next sprint – we want to make sure we keep these flowing. 

Get Started

You now have everything you need to start planning your first sprint, the next step is to take action and get started! The above process can be accomplished using a project management tool (such as ClickUp, Asana, or Trello) or you can pull out a whiteboard/sheet of paper and jot it down by hand. Whatever you need to do to hold yourself accountable for getting it done.
And if you need extra support, then I encourage you to click here and book a time on my calendar. Sprint planning sessions are one of my favorite things to do with clients, and I would love to support you in creating yours.

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Erin Marcus

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Erin Marcus is an author, speaker and communications specialist helping organizations to “Conquer the Conversation,” and creating improvement in sales, customer service and team dynamics. To bring Erin to your event or business:

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