The Solo Daily Stand-up

Working on your own doesn’t mean you can’t take the benefits from a daily stand-up meeting and apply it to your work. If you’re not familiar with a daily stand-up, it’s a quick meeting to go over what you done yesterday, will do today, and any potential roadblocks. They provide the team with a status update on what everyone’s working on and any potential challenges. In a traditional stand-up you don’t get long, just a minute or so to speak. You’re even encouraged to stand—hence the name—so you’re not too comfortable and want to hang around. Discussions around any updates take place after the stand-up to keep things short.

What’s the point if you’re on your own?

Whilst you don’t have a team to update on your progress, you can use it to manage your tasks and keep tabs on what’s holding you back.

I find it easiest to split a bit of paper into columns, one for each day. I then draw a horizontal line through the columns to split each day into two boxes. The top box is what’s planned, and the bottom box is what you accomplished.

Solo Stand-up on Paper

What will I do today?

Here’s the chance to plan your day. In the top box, write out what you plan to achieve in that day. Creating a to-do like list of what’s important. As you go through the day, you will hopefully just be filling out the same tasks into the bottom box, if all goes to plan.

What did I accomplish yesterday?

As you progress through the day, record what you do in the bottom box. At the end of the day, you can compare the top and bottom box to see if you kept on track. What if you didn’t though—what if both boxes are different?

What obstacles are impeding my progress?

If you miss a task, put a cross next to it. If you have to do extra tasks because of an obstacle, put a cross next to it as you add it to the bottom box. This lets you see at a glance where the problem areas were.

After a week

Once you’ve done this for a working week you can assess how well you done. You’ll be able to see any problem areas and address them so you can keep on track better the next week.

Keep your notes and take a look back from time to time. Do you see an improvement? Does your bottom boxes start to mirror your top boxes as you perfect your working day?

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