Marathons vs. sprints

Is your work always frantic?

Some people chronically race through their work. Everything must be done quickly. Go go go. Sprint!

But not all work lends itself to moving quickly. And you can’t keep sprinting for long.

If you’re working on software, it might make sense to treat the development of a new feature as a sprint. You put in a lot of effort in a short period and you get results quickly. Then you ask people how they like what you created and you iterate.1

But if you’re a lawyer working on a case, you might burn out if you try to sprint through the whole thing. Perhaps you can work with a lot of focus and energy for one day, or two days, or even for a week. I doubt you can give 100% effort for a month, though.

In the same way, you would probably be better off treating the writing of a novel as a marathon. Pace yourself by writing a bit every day and eventually you’ll end up with a novel.2

If you sprint for too long, your health will suffer.

Would you be better off treating your next big project as a marathon instead of as a sprint?

Yours,

— Peter

Got you curious?

If you liked this article, you can subscribe to get my daily articles sent right to your inbox.

You can unsubscribe any time—no hard feelings. Powered by ConvertKit
  1. This is one of the keys of agile development.
  2. This is apparently how the bestselling author Haruki Murakami writes.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share