There is so much value in building a culture of accountability within ourselves.
On a daily basis we are accountable for someone or something. For example, your peers at work, your job, paying bills, bringing up your children, family responsibility… the list goes on. With more demand and expectations on us than ever before how do we stay on track? How do we keep accountable for our actions and not be distracted or led astray from what’s important?
Here are our top 3 tips for keeping yourself accountable
1. Respect time and tasks with outcomes.
We all have the same amount of time in a day. So how do some people glide through life and others feel like they are floundering? The key is how they spend their time. Imagine every minute of the day was a ten dollar note – by the end of each day do you spend it on what you want or do you find yourself lining other people’s pockets? Being accountable is looking at how we are spending our time. Do we fill it up with meaningless time-filler tasks or do we spend it working towards what we want to achieve?
In life there must be balance, so look at where you’re spending your time and if the pendulum swings too far one way, look at balancing things out. For example are you stressed out because you spend so much time completing tasks for everyone else you miss out on getting your own stuff done? If so, look at taking 1 hour of the day (split in 15mins bursts if that’s easier for you) doing something for yourself. Respect the time that is yours to keep yourself accountable.
2. Use technology to support you.
When we are busy, on the go all the time we can store everything in our short-term memory. Like a computer our short term memory can only hold so much before it’s overloaded. While technology can be a major reason for distraction, it can also provide some practical tools to help prioritise. There are plenty of apps out there which create lists, reminders and progress trackers, such as Planner or Trello.
Consider using your 1 hour a day for yourself to research the best apps out there that will work for you. Using visual activity-based technology can keep you accountable to achieve those daily goals.
3. Reward yourself for more than a second.
So, what happens when you deliver on a promise you made yourself? Or when you succeed on a task you’re accountable for? Do you just move straight on to the next one? Stop! Take some time to bask in the glory of all you’ve achieved. Take some time to celebrate your success. You could do that by taking a lunch break, phoning a friend or just getting up from your desk to get some fresh air.
It’s so easy to ignore the celebration part of accountability with all you have to get done. Being accountable takes hard work and dedication so celebrate your wins – even the small ones.
Success in anything comes from making it a priority. It’s down to you to make the conscious effort in mastering your own accountability. Once you do it can be a very rewarding experience.