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How to Stay Accountable While Working from Home

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How to Stay Accountable While Working from Home

Working from home is one of the most fulfilling feelings out there, and it doesn’t matter whether your office is your actual bedroom or a dedicated out building.  A metal workshop is a cost-effective building for business and residential use, and a house or flat has many nooks and crannies suited to becoming workspaces.

Maintaining accountability, however, is often one of the hardest things about transitioning from the office to a home-based entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Put simply, it’s a transition from a controlled environment, with many people keeping an eye on you and pressuring you to meet certain objectives, to a completely open-ended situation where you’re entirely responsible for your own progress (or lack thereof) in any area.

Luckily, working from home doesn’t have to be an anarchic mess. If done right, it can be one of the most enriching and powerful experiences on offer.

Here’s a look at how to stay accountable when working from home.

Involve friends or family

One of the most straightforward ways of compensating for the loss of your office-space accountability buddies, is to replace them with new accountability buddies drawn from among your friends and/or family.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to actually recruit a friend to stand around in your house and check up on you while you work, nor does it mean that you have to involve your chosen accountability partner in every aspect of your professional life.

It can be as simple as agreeing that you’ll email your buddy at the end of each working day with a 1-5 rating of your productivity that day, or your total hours worked on a project, or some other metric that has value to you.

The key is in having someone to answer to at the end of the day.

Put some money on the line

If the potential shame of having to report wasted time to an accountability buddy isn’t enough to keep you on the straight and narrow path, you might want to consider adding a monetary incentive as well.

A variety of accountability tools have popped up over the last few years for this exact purpose. These include StickK — where you create “commitment contracts”, such as “I will complete project X by 5:30 on Tuesday”, pledge money to sticking to those contracts, and then assign a referee to judge your progress and the honesty of your reports.

Of course, you could also set up a more DIY system, perhaps including adding a certain amount of money to a jar every time you step out of line, and then giving it away once a week or so.

The point here is that you make laziness hurt your wallet, as well as your pride.

Make your deadlines public

Making your deadlines publicly known isn’t a great strategy for certain types of work. If the project you’re engaged on involves building or overhauling a website, for example, there might well be unforeseen delays, glitches, and so on, which make setting an exact launch time difficult.

For certain things, such as blog update frequency, however, making a public declaration of your deadlines can be a great way of forcing yourself to remain disciplined, or else alienate your client base.

A simple social media post stating something like “this blog will be updated every Friday without fail” can be enough to get the job done.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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