Just like individuals, it is a good idea for organizations to take a break from the daily routine and have some “me time” to decompress, take a step back, and focus on ways to improve. Here at the Jake Group we look forward to pressing pause every once in a while for JAKE DAY, a dedicated morning, afternoon or both to put client work aside and work on ways to become better at what we do.
Our regularly scheduled Jake Days have allowed us to explore new design and technology trends, optimize our workflow, build better products, which ultimately, allows us to better serve and provide more value to our clients.
Plan ahead: Make sure to schedule your dedicated time in advance so the team can prepare. This way people will be able to work out any scheduling conflicts and plan their day accordingly. This will also give everybody the opportunity to come up with some ideas for the day.
Be realistic: When establishing how much time is feasible for dedicated agency time, consider the specifics of your team. Can we meet once a week? Once a month? The whole day? Half a day? Shooting for unrealistic goals raises the risk of postponing or canceling the meetings to a point where they are not meaningful anymore.
Stay focused: Resist the temptation to cheat! This time is supposed to be for the organization so put your Out-of-Office message on, shut down email, and zero in on non-client work. We don’t use Jake Day to work on anything we would normally do any other day. It’s a tall order, but possible if you minimize distractions throughout the day.
Have some topics ready: Jake Day doesn’t happen everyday, so there’s no time to waste. We like to have a list of topics ready so we can get to work right away. This list is accessible to the rest of the team so they can add topics anytime a new idea sprouts up.
Bite size goals: Make sure that the projects the team will be working on can be completed during the allotted time. This will give everybody a sense of accomplishment, and the team will have something tangible at the end of the day. If your team will be working on a bigger project, make sure to divide it into smaller tasks.
Let creativity thrive: As long as it is related to the organization, we let everybody work on any topic they like. This blog post? You guessed it — a Jake Day creation! Anything goes, as long as it’s all about Jake.
It doesn’t have to be fancy: Sure, improving the invoicing workflow doesn’t sound as exciting as exploring the latest in VR technology, but any contribution is valuable and can be of great benefit to the organization as a whole.
Show and tell: Reserve time for everybody to share their accomplishments. Maybe it’s only five minutes a person, but giving each team member an opportunity to brag a bit goes a long way at making the day as productive as possible.
Have fun: “Me” time should be something that we enjoy, not a chore. During Jake Day we have an opportunity to work on things we are passionate about, which makes our takeaways from the day completely unique to each person. It is not a race to come up with the best idea. It is a chance to learn, grow and make us better as a whole.