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  • Writer's pictureLauren Hass

Accountability Brings Focus, Action and Results

Try one of these four accountability tools and get things done

Do you procrastinate, lose focus, or otherwise ignore tasks that might be overwhelming? Accountability is a sure way to combat challenges that are holding you back from accomplishing what needs to get done. Here are four accountability resources that have worked for me and my clients.

Professional Accountability: My Accountability Group

Situation: I was having trouble making the time to complete the coursework to transition from being a “provisional” member of my professional organization, NAPO, to a “professional” member. As a business owner, I am only accountable to one person: me. If my business fails or tasks aren’t accomplished, no one else will hold me accountable.

Solution: In the fall, I gathered six Professional Organizers from around the country and we have since formed an accountability group that meets monthly. We share ideas and brainstorm solutions to problems, and each person sets a goal to complete before the next meeting. Before our second meeting, I had become a professional level member!

Lesson: As a solopreneur, find an accountability partner or form a group so you can be accountable to others, with similar businesses or not, from different geographic areas or similar.

Personal Accountability: Unstuck

Situation: Busy women with tons on their plate have trouble ‘getting it all done’ and feel the pressure to do so.

Solution: Health Coach Cindy Kane and I worked for several months on a curriculum designed for people who are feeling “stuck." Our first cohort is comprised of six women, and the results have been quite clear. Each person has made progress toward their weekly goals because they feel encouraged and know others in the group are waiting to hear about their progress.

Lesson: Grab some friends or others that could identify with your struggles and hold one another accountable to make progress. Saying your goal out loud will go a long way!

Scheduling Accountability: FocusMate

Situation: You have trouble making time for [insert your daunting task here: studying, writing, exercising, decluttering the pantry, etc.] so the hours pass by and you haven’t accomplished your task.

Solution: FocusMate is a gamechanger for anyone who has work to do, but trouble scheduling it. If you have a test coming up, a blog you want to write, even exercising you want to do, sign up online (the free option allows 3 meetings/week) and you will see the value of this site. You choose what time you want to work, what you want to accomplish in your hour, and the site “pairs you with an accountability partner for a live, virtual coworking session that will keep you on task.” I have been paired with a student from France and a lawyer from Denver. We state our intentions at the start of the call and get to it!

Lesson: Knowing someone else is expecting you to show up and do your work is often enough to get it done.

Online focus: StayFocusd

Situation: You sit down at your laptop to do work and then find yourself scrolling through social media, playing games, and being anywhere but where you need to be.

Solution: “StayFocusd is an extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend browsing time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time for the day has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible until the next day. You control the restrictions: time allowed, which sites are blocked, and even if you want to be given a “challenge” in order to change the settings, which should be enough to discourage you to do so.

Lesson: The mind is tricky and sometimes you need to give yourself no other option. You set the accountability expectations in advance and then you have no choice but to follow them. It’s like being your own boss or parent! Might work for your kids too.

If you give any of these a try, let me know how it goes!

Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash. Edited by Ilene Moyher.

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