Several months ago, my friend Julie Howell and I started having co-working days, where we spend the day working together. Working alone gets tedious at times, and we have found that having someone to bounce ideas off of, or just to share things with, makes us more productive. And it’s more fun, too!
Then we decided to take it a step further than monthly co-working days. Now, we email each other a daily report. The process is simple: At the end of each day, Julie and I each send an email to the other describing what we did that day.
It started out as a way to document our accomplishments and motivate us to achieve more. However, it has become even more than that.
Here is what Julie had to say about it:
“Writing a daily email of “today’s accomplishments” has been a great idea. It does two things for me:
One, I find that during the day when I might skip over something because I’m just not into it or just plain lazy – I think “Better get it done so I can have something to write Cathy.”
Two, over time it began to show me how inefficiently I use my time or more correctly how I allow some things that are not important to monopolize my time.
And now after I write my “today’s accomplishments” email, I also send myself an email about what I want to accomplish the following day.”
My experience is much like Julie’s. I never want to send an email saying, “I didn’t do a darn thing today,” so I make sure that I accomplish things I can tell Julie about. And sometimes reading over the email points out to me where the time sinks are in my day. What distracted me and got me off course? What emergencies came up that had to be dealt with? And how can I keep those things from continuing to impact my productivity?
Interestingly, I found another benefit from doing the daily emails. What started out as a simple list of tasks turned into a daily journal. I not only write about what I did that day, I document ideas that came to me and future plans.
Getting an accountability partner has made a difference for me. Not only am I getting more done, I have a record of my accomplishments, plans and goals.
Why not try it yourself? Select a friend or colleague to be your accountability partner, and report to each other every day. Share your successes, your challenges and your goals as a way of reaching greater heights and keeping a record of your journey.