Personal accountability, and how to take ownership of your commitments to boost your focus and productivity.
Personal accountability is all about taking ownership over your work and life. It’s about holding yourself to your commitments and goals, even when things get tough.
It’s easy to find excuses for why you didn’t follow through on these commitments, whether to yourself, your team, or your family. Often you are overwhelmed or stressed with the number of things you need to get done.
That’s why your daily routines significantly impact your outcomes and become an excellent way to hold yourself accountable.
Here are a few habits you can build for holding yourself accountable.
An easy way to not follow through on something is to forget you had to do it in the first place. Thus, it’s critical to have a single source of truth for all your tasks, goals, and commitments. That way, when you are deciding what to work on each day, you have an easy reference point, and nothing slips through the cracks.
Another way to boost your personal accountability is to plan each day or week with everything you want to accomplish. This helps you be proactive and complete your existing commitments before taking on new ones.
We all have too much to do and not enough time. There’s not much we can really change about that. Being personally accountable is about being honest with yourself and others about what you will achieve and when. Not able to deliver that report when you said you would? That may get you in some hot water, but it’s way better to communicate this ahead of time rather than after the fact. Not able to achieve one of the goals you set for yourself? Have a conversation with yourself about why that is and how you can recalibrate.
Don’t just sweep things under the rug and hope you or others will just forget.
A powerful personal accountability tool is timeblocking. This is the practice of setting aside time in your calendar to complete a task or project. There are several reasons time blocking helps. First, you commit a specific chunk of time to a particular task. When that time comes around, it’s hard to avoid it because you’ve put it down in your calendar. Second, it blocks that time from meetings creeping in. Finally, it helps you avoid Parkinson’s Law, which states that work fills the time allotted for its completion. Committing a certain amount to a task enables you to avoid turning something that should take an hour into an all-day event.
Personal accountability is about taking ownership of your work and life and avoiding excuses for missing commitments and goals. Your productivity routine can be a huge source of help. Keep everything you need to get done in a single place, plan your time, and communicate when falling short. And timeblocking is a nice hack to help you stick to doing things in a specific block of time.