Anytime you’re able to do what you want, what do you typically do? If you’re like most people, you do the thing that you find the most enjoyable, the least scary or the easiest.
Therein lies a MAJOR stumbling block to success – procrastination.
Sure, you need to finish that project, but first you’re going to spend a few minutes on Pinterest.
Yes, you need to get that blog post written and uploaded, but…are those dust bunnies under your desk? It won’t take long to run the dust mop around and then you will get right back to work.
And so it goes.
It is amazing the things that look more interesting to us than doing what we need to do. Sometimes it is “shiny object syndrome,” where something new seems that it would be more fun than working on the client project that is due next week. But it can even be something we normally would not want to do (Dust mopping? Really?) if we were not facing a more daunting task that we want to put off.
One of the reasons many of us went in to business for ourselves is that we wanted to set our own goals, control our own schedules and we didn’t want to answer to someone else. The one good thing about answering to someone else, however, is that having that external accountability.
When you’re accountable to someone and you need to answer for your actions, you know what happens? You get stuff done. And oftentimes just getting stuff done makes all the difference between succeeding and failing.
We tend to be our own worst enemies when it comes to being focused. But when you have someone to report to each day and account for what you accomplished and whether you achieved your goals for the day, procrastinating becomes downright difficult–and even a bit embarrassing. You know you’ll have to make an excuse if you didn’t get your work done, and you know your partner isn’t going to buy that excuse any more than you’re going to buy hers.
Find someone with whom you are compatible and become each other’s accountability partner.
Set goals for each day or week and share them with your accountability partner. Then you report on how you did on reaching your goals.
There are many ways to make this work, so find the one that works best for you and your partner. You can report to each other via email, text message, Skype or however you and your partner choose to communicate. Keep the communication short. This is not about burning up a bunch of time chatting.
Here is how I do it: Every Monday I send out two emails to my accountability partners. One is my list of goals for the week and the other reports how I did on my goals for the previous week. They do the same with me.
Just knowing that I will be reporting on what I accomplished (and what I failed to accomplish) motivates me to get more done.
This is a simple technique and I think you will be outright amazed at the difference it makes in your business.