That is a great question. Ask my teenage son, LOL. Here are some a-ha’s I have learned about which accountability system is attractive – our son recently gave me a powerful reminder of those past lessons.
Greetings. I thought I’ll talk to you a bit about systems and accountability in this nugget.
Of course, I like to use systems to keep myself on track. I help my clients to keep their organization on track, too, if they ask me to give them some help with that.
What I found over the years is that not all systems work equally well for everybody.
I’m finding that out again as I’m talking to my son about how to keep track of the rather numerous assignments he’s currently getting from his school.
- We started with a paper calendar that the school gave him. We (my husband and I) thought, well, that sounds fabulous. Our son didn’t think so.
- Then we said, how about Google calendar? He didn’t like that either.
- I skipped that step in the video, but we tried relying on the online system called “Canvas.” While that theoretically should have worked, it didn’t.
- Then I came up with a whiteboard with a clever grid system. And guess what? He did not like that either.
Now, of course, you can say, well, he’s a teenager, and teenage boys, in particular, might not like accountability and might not like any system.
Finally, I said to him, “Look, I don’t care how you keep track of it. You can write it on bits of paper and hang them from the ceiling if that works for you, but you need to keep track of it somehow, don’t you?!?“
Eventually, he realized that he did need something and that assignments were escaping his memory. In fairness, there are a fair number of assignments, and many due dates are coming at him all the time.
Finally, he actually took the whiteboard which I had offered to him.
I said, “Hey, we don’t need to use it the way that I was thinking. You can use it however you like.”
We erased my clever grid system. He drew something on the whiteboard that looked more like a progression in a video game, which is creative.
- You can take your assignment through the different stages of a timeline.
- There is a starting point.
- Down the path is a mountain, which he called “the grading mountain.”
- The assignment progresses from assigned, completed, submitted, graded, and finally is DONE.
- I thought it was a clever way of showing progress. If that system finally works for him (we’re testing it right now), I will say “hallelujah.”
The point is that when it comes to systems, I invite you to come up with something that works for you – because what works for this person or that person may not be what is ideal for you.
However, it is tough to keep track of things, especially many things just in your head. Please have a system. Use something that works for you. With that, holding yourself accountable is so much easier. The point of doing so is to achieve the things that are important to you.
Which system do you use to hold yourself accountable for your commitments? By that I mean the commitments you make to others and the ones you make to yourself!
P.S.: I appreciate you commenting and sharing this with others. Thank you!