By Julie Cox, Senior Partnership Officer
Like most organisations, we often find we have a list of things we’d like to do on a ‘rainy day’. But sometimes that rainy day never comes. A solution we’ve found helpful at GiGL is to have a dedicated ‘Closed Week’ every six months. The idea is that we let our stakeholders know that we’re concentrating on internal work for a week, then focus on the tasks we don’t normally get around to.
During our Closed Week we try to clear our schedules of meetings, to create space for us to focus on independent, core work. This year, this aspect will be particularly valuable. We’ve found working remotely has increased opportunities for collaboration thanks to Teams / Zoom meetings being so much easier to attend than travelling for face to face sessions. Whilst these enhanced interactions are great, and are producing some wonderful outputs, it can be harder in our remote working situation to find quality stretches of focus time for admin or core work that requires extended attention. Closed week gives us the opportunity to do this and get back to our meetings the following weeks with a renewed energy.
Jobs we typically concentrate on in our Closed Weeks are those internal tasks that require focus, need to be shared amongst several members of the team, or perhaps are a bit dull and have therefore been put off previously. In the past we’ve incentivised the team to complete some categorisation of a large batch of paper records with a big box of donuts; turning accomplishing a monotonous task into a team building opportunity.
Closed Week is a good way of us giving ourselves some space to think as well as get on top of our admin. We discuss as a team what needs doing in advance and then spend the week working on what has been agreed. That could be creating a new data model, trialing new database advances or catching up with admin tasks such as logging new contact details or filing.
If you get an out of office from us saying that we are “focusing on core projects and catching up on business admin”, you’ll know now what we’re up to. However, please be assured that we’re still accessible and available to help with urgent enquiries. We recommend you give yourself the gift of time and have your own Closed Week soon.