Why is it so hard to get stuff done sometimes, even easy stuff? There are a lot of reasons.
Some are good reasons and some are excuses disguised as good reasons. Sometimes, it’s because we are “Stuck”. Perhaps the most common reason is because it’s just as easy not to do something as it is to do it.
What most have an even harder time with is knowing how to change and get things done when they are not….even when they have a powerful “Why”.
Whether big tasks or small, there is an inertia we all have to overcome. If there seems to be an underlying principle working to keep us where we are at it’s because there is. And a secret to overcoming it is tapping the power of accountability.
By putting the following 3 accountability principles into action, you’ll be on the fast track to earning a GSD (getting stuff done) degree and getting more stuff done than you ever thought was possible:
- Small stuff– Success is merely a few key disciplines, repeated every day. And failure is only a few errors in judgement, repeated everyday. Therefore, you have to hold yourself accountable for the mundane, monotonous and incremental actions that matter big-time over the long-haul.
- Big Stuff- This “what” is obvious. The problem is that instead of “eating it small slices”, we try to choke the whole loaf down at once.
Accountability can be incorporated several ways:
- Say it
- One-to-One- Share your commitment with another person. It’s best if that someone is a person you respect, who cares about you, and won’t let you off the hook.
- Group or Team- When you make a commitment to a group, you leverage peer pressure in a positive way. You may also get the benefit of hearing other creative approaches you haven’t thought about.
- Write it
- Writing is a tangible reminder and activates our brain in a powerful way not done by thinking or talking alone. These words by Michael Hyatt summarize it well: “Thoughts disentangle themselves passing over the lips and through pencil tips”.
- A list in the form of action items or daily behaviors that can be “checked off” can be powerful.
- Incorporate structure
- Putting hard stops in place can give you a sense of urgency. Examples would setting a task timer of some sort or telling someone to leave without you if your not there by a certain time (Ouch!).
The Why of accountability
There are many. Below are the ones I think factor in most:
- We’re forced to clearly define what it is we are committing to, especially when we write it down.
- We’re more aware of what we are committing to, which allows us to better weigh the risks, consequences and rewards.
- It’s a form of “activation intent”. When we put accountability in place, we’ve actually taken a proactive step in moving toward what we are after.
- Our commitment is kept front and center because we now have someone or something external to our own rationalizing brain to answer to.
- It leverages positive peer pressure. No one wants to look bad or let someone down.
Whether it’s a BHAG goal or the small actions you want to transform into habits, sometimes your powerful “Why” isn’t going to be enough for you to get it done. Your going to have to leverage the other side of that “Why” coin: accountability. It’s just as important and sometimes more so.
Think of one thing you’ve wanted to get done and repeatedly haven’t. Now, what’s one way you could incorporate accountability into your efforts?
Give it a go, I have no doubt you’ll get a lot more done than you did without it. And if you do, please leave a comment and let me know how it goes (yes, feel free to write it down here and hold yourself accountable!).