The end of the week is looming and Rose has just started an editing project that has been pending since the week before. More time sensitive tasks kept popping up, there were client issues to tend to, and frankly the dry job of editing a technical document wasn’t something Rose necessarily wanted to do with any sense of urgency. With only a day left until her deadline, Rose has found herself scrambling to complete the project, kicking herself for not taking time each day to work on the document, a goal she set for herself when this task was assigned to her.

Sound familiar? This all too common scenario of procrastinating on our least favorite duties happens to the best of us. Even when we set goals, sometimes we simply lack the motivation or time to get the job done. If you anticipate these obstacles popping up, you can establish methods to hold yourself accountable to ensure that you’re not scrambling at 4:45pm on a Friday to finish a project.

As we discussed in a previous blog post, setting sub-goals or objectives can help you reach the end result. Consider these mini goals as a step to get to the finish line. When you accomplish those smaller objectives, reward yourself in some way (e.g., nabbing your favorite coffee beverage, taking a break and going on a short walk, or relaxing by reading a book for 15 minutes).

Additional ways to hold yourself accountable include:

  • To-Do Lists – At the end of each day, write up a short to-do list of tasks to accomplish the next day. There is nothing more rewarding than checking off these items as you complete them.
  • Make the Goal a Priority – Plan ahead. Take a look at your to-do list and plan accordingly to ensure those items get done. Block out distraction-free chunks of time for the day ahead to make sure you have the resources ready to complete those tasks.
  • Complete One Task at a Time – Multitasking has its benefits, but if you are short on time and have deadlines looming, trying to do too many things at once can do more harm than good.
  • Have an Accountability Buddy – Many of us work on projects as a team. If you’re working with more than one person, agree to hold one another accountable by checking in regularly, discussing issues that may arise, and providing feedback along the way.

While setting goals is a great first step in achieving success at work, simply putting those goals out there isn’t always enough to ensure that we actually follow through. By implementing a number of techniques to hold yourself accountable, you can successfully create a map to get you from point A to point B,with methods and techniques help cross obstacles when they fall in your path.