Apr 18, 2017

5 Ways to Keep Yourself Accountable

We’re bringing in the new season and welcoming the sunshine and warmer temperatures. How is anyone supposed to get any work done with these beautiful temptations just outside the office? Here are five simple ways that you can work on keeping yourself accountable at work.

  1. 1.   While this is a good starting point for some, make sure that you also don’t get too carried away with this first tip. Here is a great Productivity Quiz, by Lily Zhang, that is designed to help you understand what factors actually motivate you to meet goals and what are some of the things that hold you back. Proceed with caution though, because it’s all too easy to get carried away with taking quizzes and the next thing you know you’ll find out what kind of dessert you are. If you already know, there’s already an example of things that keep you from being productive.


  1.  2.   After taking that quiz, you can begin by assessing the areas of your strengths and your areas of need. One interesting concept that Kat Boogaard mentions is that, “you’re not taking yourself seriously,” especially when it comes to setting your personal goals and deadlines. When your boss or a client sets up a deadline for you to have a project completed, there’s more pressure to make sure that you don’t disappoint them. However, many people feel that if they don’t meet their own deadline or goal, it’s way easier to forgive yourself, thus you lose that drive to be successful.


  1.  3.   Next, it is absolutely essential that you understand the difference between being ‘busy’ and being ‘productive’. The main difference between the two is that when you’re ‘busy’ you’re simply just doing things. This is typically when you’re multitasking and feeling like you’re getting a lot done, when in actuality, as David Meyer, from the University of Michigan, produced a study that showed that switching what you’re doing mid-task often increases the time it takes you to finish both tasks by at least 25%. Travis Bradberry also says in his article that, “we use busyness to hide from our laziness and fear of failure. We burn valuable time doing things that aren’t necessary or important because this busyness makes us feel productive.”


  1.  4.   Similar to where we began with taking the quiz, it’s also important for you to be self-aware of your actions. Richard Orbe-Austin beautifully said, “Great leaders are not afraid to evaluate their strengths and areas for growth,” and be aware of how you handle certain situations to determine how you can improve. Are you meeting your deadlines and reaching your goals? Be honest with yourself on this because that’s the only way you’ll truly be successful.


  1. 5.   Finally, one of the best ways to keep yourself accountable is by being open with others about your goals. This is one of the most effective ways of keeping yourself accountable because you’re sharing your goal with others who will be there to remind you of it and keep you on track. Similarly, writing down your deadlines and goals make it that much more concrete and something you’ll be more likely to stick with.

The Takeaway

Keeping yourself accountable is not an easy task, especially on top of all the other things you have to take care of on a daily basis. However, the better you are at making strong habits of keeping yourself accountable, the more likely you will be successful.
What are some ways you keep yourself accountable and on track? What areas do you struggle with most?

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