Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Accountability- not just for Politicians!

Recently, I was reading Randy Ingermason's Advanced Fiction Ezine and he called for writers to make themselves accountable.

Here's the system he employs to keep himself moving towards his goals:

He sets a goal that is tangible and measurable. In the example he gave, the problem was that he found himself starting to work later and later on mornings. So he appointed a time, 10 am, where he would need to be at his desk.

Then he implemented a punishment. If he's not at his desk by 10, he pays his friend $10.

He also set up a check. When he reaches his desks on mornings, he sends his friend an email to say that he's there.

He also ensures that there is no room for bending the rules. One night, he was up late trying to finish a project before deadline, and was late the next morning. Now, he had a legitimate reason for being late, and could have begged for a pardon, but he didn't.

Why not? Several reasons, as I see it. Have you ever heard "Give a man an inch and he'll take a mile"? I think that's the main reason not to break the rules. It always starts out with a legitimate excuse. At first, it's because you had to work, then it's because you had to attend a family function, then it's because you were watching a movie... Gradually there is less and less merit in th reasons...

I think the system is brilliant, and I have decided that it is time to lay the Great Procrastinator to rest. I am going to ask a friend to hold me accountable in 4 areas.

1. Exercise
2. Writing
3. Foreign Language study
4. Keeping the house clean

I know I will end up handing over more money than I would like. But which is worth more in the long run? A few $10 bills? Or becoming the person I want to be?

It's nice not to have to be accountable to anybody, but sometimes the areas where noone holds us accountable, are those which need it the most.

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