Guest post by licensed Right-Brain Business Plan® Facilitator Laura Burns
You know those people who are so self-motivated and always seem to finish projects on time? They’re the ones who, in school, would set to work on an assignment as soon as it was given. They set a daily schedule for themselves and stick to it, eating lunch, writing, and client prospecting exactly when they said they would. These people are great at getting work done early and relaxing before a big deadline.
I am not one of those people.
I am one of the last minute pressure-driven people out there. I used to think it was just me, but now I know there are lots of us! My best creative juices start flowing at around t-minus 24 hours. I don’t know why I’m like this, but it’s always been this way and I’ve learned to embrace it.
However, embracing this aspect of my character doesn’t mean completely giving myself over to the Procrastination Gods. Instead it means learning to work with my natural inclinations in order to create ways to ensure that all my projects are completed on time and without sacrificing any of my awesomeness!
Enter the Accountability Buddy.
Depending on who you are and the work you do, your Accountability Buddy choice may be different than mine. However, at their core an Accountability Buddy is the same across all types of work and personalities. Your Accountability Buddy is someone who you respect and enjoy spending time with who is interested in supporting you as you work to reach your goals.
They are someone who is interested in and capable of knowing your work goals, and they are able to check in with you to make sure you are on track and making progress.
For example: My friend Yvonne and I are both working on book projects. We meet every Friday to sit in the same room and work on our individual projects. At the beginning of each session we briefly describe where we are with our projects, what we’re currently working on, and any pain points that have come up for us.
Then we work.
It’s that simple. That weekly check-in is enough to keep me pretty focused for the week. I have to admit that knowing someone else is aware of what I should be doing and how much progress I should be making is highly motivating. That accountability has been the key to my focus and concentration as I work through this project.
If having an Accountability Buddy sounds like something you want to try, here are my top 3 tips to start strong.
Top Three Accountability Buddy Best Practices
1. Be Consistent – The key to success with an Accountability Buddy is to be consistent. Set a recurring time each week and plan your other appointments around it. Respect the process and commit to making these meetings. Even if you have to call in by phone you’ll still get great support and motivation.
2. Share Equally – Ideally these Accountability Buddy sessions are helpful to both people involved. Be sure to give equal time to each person to discuss their progress, goals, and challenges. Your relationship with your Accountability Buddy is like any other relationship- you have to both give and receive to build a strong partnership.
3. Respect Confidentiality – Both of you should agree to respect the confidentiality of each other. There may be times when you share personal information with your Accountability Buddy, and knowing that it’s a safe space will allow you to really let it out and ask for feedback.
I help heart-forward businesses create thoughtfully crafted plans for growth and sustainability. Starting your own business? Working on the one you already have? I love to inspire people to think critically, dream big, and clear out the cobwebs to let in the light and the joy! Laura Burns is one of our licensed Right-Brain Business Plan® Facilitators.