Single Day Sprints

An Experiment in Focus

I have too many things in progress and too little time to complete them all.
My intention is to experiment with focussed outcome driven sprints.
That last a single day.

the real question is

What is a single day sprint?

My desire to help people has often had me saying “yes” to many more things than I say “no” to.  This generates an overwhelming backlog of things to do that never seems to shrink.

When reflecting on how I manage to actually get anything done, I discovered that if I clear away distraction and focus, then I can finish even the most difficult piece of work.

I tend to be a real starter … and much less of a finisher.

There is a lot of energy focussed in building the momentum and getting things started, the frenetic energy of starting something new is enticing and fun.

When things get into rhythm, I tend to pick up something new – usually due to another pressing deadline.  This can create a real impact and a stack of technical debt and unfinished work.

In my agile coaching practice I often talk of the mantra of “stop starting and start finishing!” to help teams focus on what’s important.

Or as my Dad would say “3/8ths of nothing is nothing. Get one thing done!”

And yet can never seem to apply it to my own work.  Classic ‘plumber with the leaky tap at home’ situation.

However, when it does come to the crunch and time is short, I can create a lot of value and achieve huge amounts of things in a short amount of time.

Parkinson’s law is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” and can be applied to most of these situations!

Too many of these last minute rushes can lead to burnout and an overwhelming impact to mental and physical health.

These reflections triggered an idea:

"If I could clear a single day to focus on a single thing, perhaps I can create a lot more value."

I created as an experiment in this approach to focus on my backlog of developing valuable products, ideas and content.

The outcome of each Single Day Sprint will be showcased at this website.

Keeping things visible

single day sprint

The backlog is visible on a Public Trello Board to keep everything transparent.  And perhaps to also keep me accountable to the idea of actually finishing some things.  

To counter the pull to make this just a huge ‘to do list’, each item will be further refined to articulate clearly the outcomes I would like to achieve. 

My hypothesis is that each focussed single day sprint should create value and learning – not just a big pile of done tasks.

To keep the bots and trolls at bay, the Trello board is currently ‘view only’.  

Hello. I'm Jon Spruce.

An Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience in leading successful large scale digital transformations, Agile adoption and DevOps change programmes.

I support clients worldwide to help amazing humans deliver world-class solutions through organisational redesign, effective leadership coaching, and building agile capability through training.



The registration, design and development of this website to explain the concept is the outcome of the first Single Day Sprint!

Feedback is a gift

Any Suggestions?

Please get in touch using the button below if there is something you would like to see added to the Single Day Sprints backlog!