So you have a long “to do” list and a few of the same pesky items keep showing up week after week. You just can’t seem to knock them off your list. Maybe your reoccurring list looks a bit like this:
· Update contact management software (but you hate IT stuff!)
· Call people you met at recent Board of Trade breakfast (but what will I say?)
· Decide yes or no re: PR proposal (is it PR I need or should I spend $ on direct mail?)
You get the picture. Whatever the tasks, we all have our so called reasons for not getting them done, whether due to fear, indecision, boredom or dislike.
So try this. Set up an accountability partnership. I define this as a regular check in with a colleague or friend for the purposes of support and accountability. I have a telephone accountability partnership with a friend and fellow business owner who is based in Toronto (in fact, our partnership was her idea). We meet every Monday for an hour via phone. If it seems like a lot, I assure you it is one of the most valuable hours in my week.
Accountability meeting (30 min for her/ 30 min for me).
Check in on where we stand relative to the commitments we made from the previous week.
Decide on key things we will commit to for the week ahead.
Have fun. Challenge each other. Champion each other.
Every week we challenge each other to do what is “closest to cash” or sometimes what is closest to our hearts’ desire. We care about each others’ success and happiness. For this we are willing to push each other quite hard which isn’t always comfortable yet is usually very rewarding for us both.
So if you want that great feeling that comes with momentum and support, less procrastination, and greatly increased productivity, set up an accountability partnership of your own.
Here’s what I recommend:
Choose your partner well. Partner with someone you trust and respect, who is reliable and shares your work ethic. Pick a coach-like person who is a great listener and challenger and is curious. Ensure there is mutual benefit. One sided partnerships are like clapping with one hand…not very effective.
Design your partnership. Agree on your joint purpose for meeting, when you will meet, for how long, what the agenda will be, how you will keep each other accountable.
Take it seriously. More than just busting through procrastination, you are setting up a structure that will give you support and guidance and help you achieve what you want (i.e. getting more clients/ customers, raising your profile, learning to delegate, having more fun in your business etc.)
Have fun. You are creating a really powerful tool to help you in life and business. Keep it alive by making it playful. Celebrate your successes together. This may well become the highlight of your week.
An accountability partnership doesn’t replace being coached but it sure is a great set up for busting through procrastination and reducing isolation. In my case, I have a top notch business coach and a wonderful accountability partnership. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Stay tuned for procrasination buster #2 in my next post.