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Your productivity secret weapons – part 3

by Alison Bradford

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In part one we looked at one of the reasons your productivity can lapse when you become self employed.

It’s often the very reason you set up your own business; to escape the ‘boss’ and create a more flexible approach to working.

But, this new flexible way of working often results in you doing the things you are most comfortable with there comes a day when you suddenly find yourself saying ‘if only I had a boss to hold me accountable, I would get more done’.

Hey, what’s that all about then?

It’s about your secret weapon number 3.

Weapon number 3 = Accountability

It comes up time and time again from my clients as one of the reasons they seek out a business coach and is a part of coaching that they place a high value on.

When you publicly declare your intention to do something, it is much more powerful than keeping it a secret that only you know about.

Somehow, by publicly declaring you are going to do something, ‘magic’ starts to happen. Where before, you would find excuses why you couldn’t do something, now you have to find a way to make it happen.

After all, once you’ve declared you’re going to do something you can’t not deliver on that, can you??

How can you make accountability work for you without resorting to finding a boss?

Step 1 – Find an accountability partner

Think carefully about this one.

Be clear on what you’re looking for and be honest about what will work best for you.

Will you be more accountable if you are paying for this, such as hiring a business coach or mentor, or joining a paid mastermind group?

They will need to be someone who you trust and are happy to share confidential info with.

One word of caution – be wary of putting family members or close friends in this role. This very often doesn’t work as we tend to not feel so accountable to them and try and explain our lack of action away!

Draw up a short list of possible candidates and have a chat to sound them out and figure out which one will get the most out of you.

Step 2 – Draw up an agreement

In order for you both to take this seriously and be professional I strongly recommend that you draft an agreement. Nothing complicated, but summarise what you are both expected to do and what you expect in return.

Step 3 – Agree a structure

What are the practical details you need to agree?

For example, how often will you talk? Will this be face to face or over the phone? How will you keep them updated? How will they follow up with you? And very importantly, how will they challenge you if you are not taking the action you commit to?

Step 4 – Try it & refine it

Now go do it!

See what works and what doesn’t, and keep refining it until you have a process in place to keep you accountable and taking action to reach your goals without having to go out and find yourself a boss!

Leave me a comment to let me know what action you are going to take and how you get on – I’d love to know.

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

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