What are your favorite accountability tools?

Posted January 3, 2023 in

Stephanie Baiocchi

When there's a lot to do, do the hardest thing first

As we enter the new year, you probably have big goals in place for success. I know I do. Whether it's publishing those 3 articles per week or finally getting your sales team on camera, it takes commitment and dedication to reach those goals. That means doing the work every day.

Hopefully you're coming back to work today feeling refreshed and energized but let's be honest - it still gets dark early, we're all still dragging a little from the holiday indulgence, and I know I personally am still thinking about the unfinished Netflix shows I started binging. (The Circle anyone?)

So how do we hold ourselves accountable to do the work and make progress toward those goals?

Let me know your favorite accountability tools, apps, or even just habits you use to stay focused! Drop 'em in the comments.

Here's mine:
1. Google Keep checklists (or your favorite checklist app) are my lifeline

2. Time-blocking on my calendar (even if I'm meeting-free, I often put time on the calendar for important tasks so I use that time to do them especially when I know I'll be particularly focused such as in the mornings).

3. Have a "one thing" for the day. What's your one thing you must do to make today a success even if nothing else gets done? Make sure you get that thing done!

I also find ambient music / scenes on YouTube help me stay focused! Today's vibe is this one.
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Jennifer Goode
Our Teams use a "Rock Planner" (basically a goal planner) to help us stay organized and on track with our most important priorities. These planners document all the pieces of a project, make the work SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound), making it easier to complete the work. We check in as "off track" or "on track" weekly in our leadership meeting. However, even with all this information at our fingertips, sometimes it can be a challenge to hold ourselves accountable and get the work done.

When our team members are empowered to hold each other accountable, it can lead to better collaboration and a greater sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, when accountability is imposed by a leader, it can feel more like a burden and may not be as effective.

And as a bonus...if you are game for a 1970's Covey video: I leave you with this. Put the first things first.
Happy New Year!
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Stephanie Baiocchi
Jennifer Goode love it! We also create SMART goals as a team and use Metronome to track those and then ClickUp to track our daily work/sprints. They definitely help with tracking but, as you said, not necessarily with accountability. 

I agree about holding each other accountable as a team! Super important for sure. We do this a bit in our daily huddle meetings where we share our "one thing" for the day. 
Mark Young
favorite accountability tool =  the girlfriend ;-)
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Stephanie Baiocchi
Mark Young  Haha that's a good one! Any tips on how you hold each other accountable? Do you set goals, make lists, etc.? Just talk about things?
Michael Camara
Thanks for sharing your tips!

I find noise-canceling headphones the easiest way to get in the "zone." Especially with working from home. Finding the right classical or ambient music helps me feel inspired but not distracted.

I've also found consistent use of project management apps, such as Asana, to be a lifeline to keep short and far goals on the radar.

I also find it helpful to schedule your day the evening before. This can be as simple or complex as needed, but I've found it helpful as a guide to keeping up with daily goals. It also serves as a great way to schedule research, learning, and meeting prep. 
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Stephanie Baiocchi
Michael Camara ah yes, the right headphones/ambient noise is so important to me too! (and scheduling absolutelyyyy)
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Will Smith
To stay focused on the task at hand, I use a MAC-only app called Session

The app is centered around a Pomodoro timer that can be adjusted to suit the task you're looking to accomplish. When you start a focused session, you can set up the app to automatically block distracting apps and specific websites, to help you avoid checking Twitter or LinkedIn while you're in focus mode. At the end of your focus session, the app will ask you to quickly rate how you think you did before logging the time. This helps you review your focused progress, evaluate how you did and adjust accordingly. Seeing these analytics helped me improve how I focus while getting more done at the same time. Truly a game-changing app!
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Stephanie Baiocchi
Will Smith  Oooh love this! Thanks for sharing :)
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Terrence Robinson Brown
WOW Steph!! I did a lot of research on keeping myself more organized.  I came across Google Keep.  I can't believe I didn't know a thing about this app.  It's now on my home screen and it's linked to everything possible.  I love the voice notes to text, the integration with Google docs, and the ease of adding images to notes.  This is going to be a game-changer for me.  Some of my best ideas come throughout the day.  Keep gives me a method of capturing the thoughts that race through my mind during the day.  Now I have to set a reminder to dump all of my ideas into Clickup and the end of the day.
Stephanie Baiocchi
Terrence Robinson Brown  right? it's the best! So glad you like it. 
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Tom DiScipio
I use a bunch of digital tools to keep track of all the stuff going on during the day/week... but truth be told... the thing that holds the most weight and accountability for me is...

My handy-dandy notebook! 📓

Call me old school... I've found that if I'm physically writing something down, it is of the highest priority, and gets constant visual attention sitting in front of me on my desk. Even if they're repetitive things, if I need to hold myself accountable to it, it's getting written down.

And  Stephanie Baiocchi  - You know I've also got the vibe music on in the background too 😄.
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Stephanie Baiocchi
Tom DiScipio  Oh man I am SUCH a fan of writing things down! Sticky notes are often my lifesaver. 

Plus nothing beats the feeling of physically crossing something off a list am I right?
Winnie Anderson
Have you heard of Planner Pads? They're the perfect tool for people who have lots of projects/plates in the air.

I just started using it and am getting the hang of it while making my own little tweaks.

This is their site (not an affiliate link or anything) and the pads are sold through Amazon. 

Their site explains their approach and how the "pad" works.
Stephanie Baiocchi
Winnie Anderson  Oooh no but these are great! 
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