Being the host at a Focus Work Boot Camp implies a few, but very important tasks.

Preparations

First of all, there has to be coffee and cold drinkable water available throughout the day. If not possible, make sure that this is announced before the camp to allow people to bring their own coffee, water or other drinks.

Make an agreement about the wifi with the owner of the venue. The best solution is to have a good wifi that can be completely turned off during focus sessions. If this is not possible (for instance because the venue is part of a bigger working place), make sure that the wifi is password-protected, and that the password is not handed out to the participants at the boot camp. Having access to wifi in the lunch-break is also a part of the boot camp, so in this case I suggest that the host set up a wifi in the lunch-break with her smartphone.

If the venue has an open wifi without password protection, then it’s just not suitable for a focus work boot camp!

Remember to bring jot down paper for everyone! It is indeed an important tool for the boot camp (example for printing here).

Leading the boot camp

The initial half an hour before the focus session starts should be quite soft. Ideally each participant should share a little bit about who they are, about what they do and how they intend to spend the boot camp day. The host can facilitate this round by initiating it when most of the participants have settled. However, some of the participants might be eager to «suck out the last bit» of information from the internet that they need for their work this day, make some phone calls or be busy some other way. This is perfectly OK before focus session, and they should feel no pressure about «forced networking» or anything like that. Positive networking will happen anyway without pressure, have no doubts!

The host opens the focus session by actually collecting physically the telephones from all the participants. This is an important part of the boot camp, and «but I might get an important call» should in generally not be OK. There is one exception from this rule: Thos who absolutely need the school or kindergarten to be able to get in touch for some important reasons, should be allowed to have access to their phones. In this case the phone should be put to filtered «do not disturb»-mode where only the school/kindergarten is allowed through.

After the phones are collected, they are preferrably brought to a separate room. If not possible for security-reasons, one may keep them in the same room in a sealed bag. NB! In this case, all the phones in the bag has to be in soundless mode and with vibration turned off.

Hand out the jot down paper, and preferrably also some pens.

Then, at the agreed time, the focus session starts with the wifi-router being turned off.

During the focus session, one may allow some small comments and simple questions between the participants. People may go to the restroom, go and get some coffee or just stretch their leg. However, the primary mode should be straight working for all the participants.

The host initiates a 10-minuttes coffee- and smalltalk break halfway in each session. Again – there should be no pressure on mingling in this breaks. Smalltalk is fine during this brak, keep on with the focus work is also fine.

Lunch is freetime, both for mingling, lunching together, have a run or just to work on the net or make some phone calls. Opening the access to the internet during lunch, thus is also of the task for the host.

After lunch, the focus session is repeated. Good luck!