Be more productive by being accountable

I’m very excited. I have a fantastic idea for an article, and my brain is firing on all cylinders. I can’t wait to get home to my Mac to get these ideas down. But, by the time I get home, the shine has rubbed off somewhat and the idea is not looking so fantastic. The energy has gone, and I sit to face a blank page.

Thankfully, while inspired, I told my husband all about my idea. In detail.

Now, my husband is like a dog with a particularly delectable bone – he will not LET. IT. GO. So, if I tell him I’m going to do something, he will nag me until I’ve done it and shown him the evidence. So, rather than have to deal with his pestering (and criticisms about me never seeing things through – eye roll) I push through the pain and I get that article written.

Phew.

I know from experience that if I’d have kept this fantastic idea to myself, it would never have been written – I need accountability for those jobs that I don’t see as absolutely vital.

how can accountability help you?

Can’t keep to your new year’s resolutions? You need accountability.

Can’t be bothered to go to the gym after a hard day’s work? You need accountability.

Can’t get that novel written? You need accountability.

Need to get this week’s blog written for the business? You need accountability – your business depends on it. But how can you use accountability to get that blog post done?

My aim is to get one blog post written each day, whether for my own websites or a client. But as easy as it is writing blogs for businesses, when it comes to my own, I’ll procrastinate, and cogitate and make more tea, and put the washing on…

Perhaps you’re one of those people who can hold themselves to account with your heavy-duty willpower and unassailable motivation – well lucky you, and well done for achieving all your New Year’s resolutions.

But if you’re like the rest of us, where setting a goal might get you started but is likely to fade into a dim and distant fantasy within minutes, then the support of some social accountability will give you the kick up the rump you need.

Whether you want to let the world know about it (and hold you accountable) or keep it to yourself, to get those things you have no internal motivation to do, done, it helps to be accountable to someone.

Being accountable involves being obligated to do what you say you will do, whether to yourself or others. It also means you’ll have to justify why you’ve not done it.

Inner accountability

If I have to do something, I’m less likely to do it if I don’t know the reason why I should do it.

The same can be said for writing your blog posts – once you know and understand why writing a blog will benefit your business, then you’re more likely to do it. Sometimes that’s all the motivation and accountability you need.

But sometimes a little more coaxing is needed. So, I call on the power of habit to get it done. Having a clear goal to write and publish 1 blog post a day, no excuses, and doing it for several weeks now means that it has now become a habit. Even if it’s a topic that is not particularly thrilling (laser cutters, for example) I no longer think about whether or not I feel like doing it, I’ve just learned to do it automatically, out of habit.

If you have a goal to write 2 posts a week, and you schedule it into your diary on a particular day at a specific time, you’re more likely to achieve it. Planning to do it ‘as and when you have time’ is likely to result in you finding something more pressing to do. Which means the blog post doesn’t get written.

Another way to hold yourself accountable is to set a goal then make a financial commitment if you fail to meet it, (a risky strategy if you’re prone to default on your promises). Or, promise yourself a treat if you do achieve it.

If this fails, there is another way.

Outer accountability

It can be a struggle to stay motivated and get those blogposts written if you’re only doing it for you and your business. When no-one else knows or cares about it then it’s easy to find excuses not to do it.

That is where external accountability can be your friend. Having to answer to someone if you don’t do it can keep you focused. You don’t want to be seen to be flaky and not do what you said you’d do, so it powers up the pressure. Telling others what you intend to do, asking them to check in on you regularly – will keep you moving forward.

Setting a company challenge to publish 2 blog posts a week means that you will be disappointing your readers if you don’t deliver.

Who else will notice if you fail to do it? If no one then tell people! Facebook is good for this. Telling your friends/customers on Facebook that you’re going to be publishing 2 blog posts a week means that you’re more likely to do it as there’s always going to be someone who annoyingly mentions it if you don’t deliver.

Use accountability to get it done

If no one else is going to write the blog posts for you, but you’re not all that keen on doing it yourself (but know that it’s the best thing for your business) then you need to get some accountability. So, whether you find ways to be internally accountable or you ask friends/colleagues/customers to hold you accountable, do whatever it takes and create that support system. Doing so means you’ll keep on getting those blog posts written, and your business will benefit.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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