Thursday nights are usually my most stressful, as I’m dreading my call the next morning.
I was recently talking to a friend of mine, a coach to some of the top professionals in their field. He noted that most of his job is about holding an individual accountable to their own expectations.
I’ve long felt the same way too about my own experience. While I may have lofty aspirations for what’s important for me to do, I fall victim to the urgent, the small rocks, the desire to please someone else and the inability to say no. Especially as I strove to accomplish things that aren’t tied to my day to day, I sought a tool
So I hired an accountability coach. Every week, we talk about what I accomplished over the prior week, the inevitable list of what I didn’t achieve, and why. Sometimes I just ran out of time, and the solution is to block off time for next week and limit other interruptions. Sometimes it’s that it was too big of a task, and I needed to break it down into smaller tasks. Sometimes it’s that maybe it just wasn’t as important as I thought it was.
We’ve experimented with sticks and carrots – e.g. if I cleared out a major project, I would take a half day off and go see a movie. That has had minimal impact – the real value is knowing that, on Friday mornings, I’m going to have to face the music, and talk through what I have and have not done that my past self felt I should.
I initially piloted having a personal accountability coach as an experiment for a possible business venture. I decided not to pursue that, but it’s made an impact for me. If you find there’s a continuous delta between what you commit to do for yourself and actually do – consider an accountability coach.