Ever feel like you don’t get enough done?

Start out the week with the best of intentions, but let the time slip away?

Then this is for you.

This is the ultimate procrastination killer.

Just this one approach can show a dramatic increase in the amount of work you get done each week.

It’s perfect for startups, solo entrepreneurs, and homeworkers.

It’s ideal for people without a good, reliable, solid line manager.

This is The Accountability Partner Hack.

What is an Accountability Partner?

It’s simple. You find someone else in the same situation as you – someone who also wants to get more stuff done.

And you agree to be each other’s Accountability Partner.

The Accountability Contract

This means that you both agree to the following:

  1. To a minimum of one conversation (face to face, or via Video Call (Skype / Facetime are ideal) per week.
  2. To help each other set SMART goals for the coming week.
  3. To hold each other accountable for the work agreed during the next conversation.
  4. To recognise, and eliminate, common avoidance patterns, and excuses, in each other.
  5. To support, and encourage, each other to achieve your weekly goals.
  6. To let your accountability partner know if they’re being a bit of a dick.

Eh? A bit of a dick?

Yeah, because you’re both going to try it on at some point. And it’s your job, as an Accountability Partner, not to let each other get away with it.

Here are a few ways that you could be a bit of a dick:

  1. Avoiding the agreed phonecalls, and texting lame excuses as to why you can’t make the call.
  2. Not achieving your goals – and making your partner feel bad about calling you out on it.
  3. Not being a good accountability partner for your, umm, partner.

Why should I do this?

How long have you got?

There are some super-productive people out there. People who just seem to get stuff done.

Trust me – that’s NOT normal.

Most people are prone to procrastination. To messing about. Scratching your bum and looking out of the window.

Deciding that you’ll get started after just one more episode of Community on Netflix.

These behaviour patterns are completely normal.

But for the self-employed, lone-worker, and entrepreneur, it can be absolutely fatal for your business.

So – this is a way of tackling these behaviours head-on.

Based on solid people-management principles, the Accountability Partner arrangement means that you avoid the pitfalls of lone working.

You replace a vacuum with a form of management.

Management of yourself, your tasks, and your achievements.

You make yourself accountable to someone else.

And trust me – this makes a HUGE difference.

So how do I get started?

Simple. Follow these steps:

1. Find a partner.

2. Download THIS free worksheet:

3. Chat through the contract with your partner.

4. Agree your first set of SMART goals for the week.

5. Go and get stuff done.

OK, you got me. What are SMART goals?

This is how you avoid setting crap goals for yourself and each other. For EVERY goal you set, you need to make sure that it is:

  • Specific” – so, no vague, fluffy nonsense.
    • DON’T SAY: you’re going to “get better at writing blogs”.
    • DO SAY: you’re going to “write 3 blogs of 500 words each.”
  • Measurable” – make sure your goal is something you can measure. Otherwise, you’ll never REALLY know if you’ve done it or not.
    • DON’T SAY: “To share my blog posts on Twitter loads of times”.
    • DO SAY: “Share my blog posts on Twitter 15 times each before the 21st August.”
  • Achievable” – this one’s kinda obvious, but don’t forget it. Don’t reach for the stars if you’ve only got short legs.
    • DON’T SAY: “To write 10 blogs of 3500 words each.”
    • DO SAY: “Yeah, realistically, I’ll manage 3 blogs at 500 words each.”
  • Relevant” – only set goals that are useful, and get you to where you want to go (according to your longer term goals!). There’s no point wasting all this valuable effort, is there?
    • DON’T SAY: “I’m going to learn sheep shearing.”
    • DO SAY: “I’m going to write 3 x blog posts using keywords relevant to my business, as part of our inbound marketing strategy.”
  • Time-bound” – This one’s a bit redundant; it’s about setting a deadline. “I’m going to achieve X by Y”. But you’ve already got a deadline, you’ve agreed it with your accountability partner. (Hint: it’s next week.)
    • DON’T SAY: “I’ll write the blogs soon.”
    • DO SAY: “All three blogs will be written and published by the 21st August.”

How do I find an accountability partner?

Simple – there are loads of ways.

  1. Post a message on your Facebook profile and ask.
  2. Go to local business networking groups (like the brilliant Parentpreneur groups), and make contacts.
  3. Join in with coworking events (like our very own Knutsford Jelly, or the latest Altrincham version, Altrincham Jelly).
  4. Join relevant Facebook Groups and ask in there (did I mention we have our very own Private Facebook Group, all about marketing tricks and hacks? Go and join it now – it’s awesome!)

Get started.

Kinda tempted, but not sure?

Stop making excuses. GET IT DONE.

Let us know how you’re getting on – we want to hear your success stories.

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David has worked with countless UK charities, businesses, and schools - with a brilliant track record of helping them with their biggest challenges. David is the founder of the Impact group - including Impact Charity Advisors, Impact Business Advisors, and Impact Education Support.