The first thing I changed when I got in charge of my first project was to shift the deadlines from Mondays to Fridays.
In our team, it had been the cool thing to do to work on weekends. And actually, it was quite an amazing experience when we made the extraordinary happen on these weekends. The energy of a team working overtime to quench the last bit of optimisation out of that algorithm felt quite …
… well, exhausting.
Honestly, it was exhausting to spend the weekends in the computer lab. Maybe not the first time. Nor the second. But over time.
It was also a sign of lazy planning. Knowing that the weekend was included, anyway, the team didn’t have to make it work until Friday. Not only that: sometimes we told ourselves that the best work was done on that last weekend.
But of course that was just an excuse. Because when we switched to Friday deadlines … we squeezed just as much out of the projects as on those Sunday evenings.
Plus: We had the weekend off to find new energy to do even greater things on the next project.