Action steps are worthless without a sense of accountability to complete them. In our jobs and daily chores, the oversight of colleagues, wives/husbands, and clients helps us stay focused. In the mishmash of daily life, we must feel accountable in order to stay productive and push ideas forward.
However, at some point, supervision backfires. Having a boss over your shoulder or constant nagging reminders will actually reduce our motivation. After all, we want to take pride in our own productivity. As such, the drive must start from within. But methods to support our drive for productivity are critical defenses in a world of TIVO, email, and countless other distractions.From the Behance team's work with especially productive teams in the creative world, here are a few of the tactics we observed:
Accountability via Photocopy & The Mailman. There is a non-profit board that has developed an interesting method for boosting productivity and ensuring that people complete their tasks. Everyone is given a sheet at every meeting to capture action steps, and then, at the meeting's conclusion, every person's sheet is collected, photocopied, and returned. You leave the meeting with your original copy, just as you normally would.
However, one month later, you stumble upon a letter when opening your mail and -surprise -there is a photocopy of your action steps, in your own beautiful handwriting. It is a reminder from yourself.
Action Step Recounting. Some teams have a quick "action go-around" at the conclusion of every meeting. Each person takes a turn reciting the action steps that he/she captured. After each turn, the rest of the group has a minute to comment on anything that may have been missed (after all, most ideas never happen because the actions required are not captured!). This verbal exchange that takes place is a powerful force of accountability. Magic happens when you state publicly that you are going to do something.
Public To-Do Lists. Imagine if your to-do lists were transcribed in 32 pt font on huge pieces of paper gracing your walls. This is a surprisingly effective method for accountability in a team environment. In fact, we use this strategy ourselves at Behance. The benefits we notice include:
We spend a lot of time focused on general productivity and too little time on the forces in our lives that keep us motivated and on track. While our instinct is to seclude ourselves into our own productivity cocoons, we must also incorporate the necessary pressures to stay on task. Most often, these pressures are external and must be tolerated, if not embraced!
Behance articles and tips are adapted from the writing and research of Scott Belsky and the Behance team. Behance runs the Behance Creative Network , the Creative Jobs List, and develops knowledge, products, and services that help creative professionals make ideas happen.
All Information (c) Scott Belsky, Behance LLC