It’s easy to get distracted when working remotely. Attention spans are shorter, and thoughts can wander off quickly.
To keep your team focused and on tasks, time each exercise in your method. This increases the sense of urgency and importance of each activity.
Use the timer on your mobile phone to keep track of time. For simple thought exercises, 1-3 minutes chunks of time may be all you need. It’s better to make it shorter than longer. You can always add another minute if needed.
For sketching or coming up with a concrete solutions, you may need more time. 10 to12 minutes slots work best if you need longer timeframes, but try to avoid longer than 20 minutes. Instead, break the activity into smaller parts.
If you have a longer segment play music in the background to fill the silent void. 10 minutes of no sound can feel very awkward when working remotely. Turning down the music towards the end of the timebox also signals a return to the group discussion.
To play music on a conference call you can play music on your computer or smart phone and let your microphone pick up the sound. Some conference call applications even allow you to share the sound of your computer.