Before you know it, it is 5 pm. You look at the piles on your desk and everything you were unable to accomplish and wonder where the day went. What did you spend all your time on?? It’s the dreaded question: How did you hold yourself accountable?
It is easy to become distracted, especially if organization is not your strongest trait. Maybe you have yet to find the discipline needed to run your day instead of letting your day run you. Or, maybe you are just procrastinating on those undesirable tasks.
What is preventing you from staying focused and completing your to–do list?
The truth is, your success depends upon your accountability. You are the only one who can really do this! Here’s how to motivate yourself to your best level of achievement. After all, it is up to you!
Make an accountability timeline of your day.
Write out your schedule. Meetings, planning, client time, networking, etc. Then as your day progresses, write what you actually did with your time. Be honest. This is, of course, for you. Next, evaluate where you are procrastinating or wasting time. Implement a plan to prevent yourself from continuing with poor time management.
Analyze time wasting tendencies.
Do you tend to drift to social media when you feel you have hit a creative block? The next thing you know, 30 minutes has gone by and all you have done is learned that your pal got a new haircut? Instead of doing that, stand up and look out the window. Walk around your office. Find new responses to distraction triggers. Do something that will clear your head, not divert you further.
Keep a simple to-do list.
List only 5 things to accomplish. Don’t add anything new until you have completed one. That way, you are sure to prioritize what is most important. Then at the end of each day, look at your to-do list. Analyze why some things didn’t get accomplished and implement plans to ensure productivity for tomorrow. Maybe it means waking up earlier or taking short “brain” breaks so you can stay focused for longer periods of time.
Staying focused on one task until its completion is far more productive than trying to juggle multiple responsibilities at once. A colleague of mine has a whiteboard above her desk that has her to do list for the week. She picks one of the tasks, writes it on a sticky note and puts it on the corner of her computer. This reminds her to stay focused on that one task at a time. She’s holding herself accountable for her time.
Don’t forget your goal!
Don’t get so caught up in the daily routine that you forget the passion that is driving you in the first place. excited about the big picture and remember why it is important to complete the tedious tasks. Write out your personal mission statement and put it somewhere you can see it every day. Motivate yourself to your own success!
It can be hard to stay on a consistent path to your goals. Your success will come as a result of what you find important. So, make it a priority to hold yourself accountable. Be honest with yourself and make the changes you need to in order to jump those hurdles that are preventing your best version of yourself from succeeding each day. Be your own biggest cheerleader!