Here’s the reality: when you work from home, you don’t have any set of eyes watching over you to ensure you meet up with deadlines and deliver. What this means is that you are solely responsible for your performance when you work from home.
For some people, it is innate. They simply find it easy to stay focused and committed to tasks. For some, it took constant practice and retraining the mind to be focused. For many others, it requires going the extra mile to stay focused and get things done in record time. I guess it is safe to say that being focused and committed is a skill and not everyone has it. The good news is that everyone can learn it.
Being accountable is most effective when you know ‘exactly’ what is expected of you and the goal you are pursuing.
Clarify your goals
The first step to achieving accountability is to establish what your goals are. Are you aiming to make a certain amount of money in your business by the end of a specific period? Are you working on a project with your team that must be done at a specified time? Is your goal to get promoted to a certain rank in your company?
Break it down
Once your goal(s) has been established, write it/them down. The next thing is to determine what needs to be done to achieve the goal(s). For example, to make ‘X’ amount of money by March 31st, I must sell 60 products in the month of March. That translates to selling 2 products each day.
To get promoted to that position by June, my team and I must bring in a total number of 30 new customers in the next 3 months. That means that you need 10 new customers in March, April, and May.
Now, proceed to break these down into chunks of activities and tasks that you need to carry out daily. Let’s look at some examples:
- Advertise on BellaNaija
- Reach out to customers for referrals
- Contact customers who should restock soon
- Attract new customers on IG
- Hold conference call with team members and give targets
- Email Mr. Ade for his pending order.
Write everything down and create a long list of activities that would culminate in you reaching your goal(s).
Create your to-do-list
From your long list of tasks and activities, you can go ahead to create a daily list of tasks that must be done and completed in one day. The to-do list is a great way to stay accountable and reduce overwhelm because, oftentimes, you might think that there is much to do in a day, but listing them out gives you a clearer picture. Plus, there is this sweet feeling of victory that comes from ticking off a task from your list as ‘done’.
Look at the bigger picture
Why are you doing what you currently do?
What would come out of it if you pull through?
What would happen if you don’t get things done?
What would you have to go back to do if this didn’t work out?
Sometimes, we get into a state where we just don’t feel like doing the things that we clearly know we need to do. It is a different thing when you are in an office setting because as you see others going about their own tasks, you would most likely pull yourself out of that funk.
Now when working from home, you are most likely left with no one other than yourself as the motivator. It’s time to remind yourself why you took up that job, business or role in the first place. Take your mind through all the questions asked above and give yourself sincere answers. This is bound to put you back on track.
Be accountable to someone other than yourself
- Find an accountability partner who is also on a journey like yours.
- Seek a mentor who has achieved that goal you are working towards. It could be a colleague or boss in the workplace, a role model you admire, a friend who has gone ahead of you, etc. Mentors are great at pushing and holding one accountable.
- Join an accountability group or platform.
- Make it a duty to frequently update your supervisor or boss on your progress if you have one. It keeps you on your toes and accountable.
The world, as we used to know it, has changed drastically in the last few months as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Many people are transitioning to working remotely and this could be a totally new and cumbersome experience for many.
If you are one of those working from home for the very first time, what are the challenges that you’ve encountered so far? Kindly share in the comments.