The Key to Staying Accountable at Work

How do we motivate ourselves at work when we are in charge of our own schedule and the completion of tasks rests largely on our own shoulders?

In other words, what can we do to make ourselves more accountable of our tasks, goals, and other big projects in the workplace when we only have ourselves to answer to? How can we become our own accountability partner?

In light of our conversation about the importance of having a support system in place over on Episode 100 of the podcast this week, these are just a few questions that I want to focus on today… because I think that having the ability to hold ourselves accountable each and every day is so important when it comes to maintaining focus, to boosting productivity, and to achieving the goals we set.

And in that light, I’ve got a few tips to help you better become your own accountability partner on the job.

Let’s take a look!


The Key to Staying Accountable at Work:

5 Steps to Becoming Your Own Accountability Partner



In my experience, we have the most difficult time completing tasks that we feel are not necessarily aligned with our North Star—the reason that we do the work that we do, and what is otherwise considered to be the driving-force behind us in the pursuit of our dreams.

To prevent from getting caught up in the mundane details of daily life? Create a personal mission statement for yourself, one that you can refer back to whenever you find your motivation or focus slipping on a particular task.

Keep in mind… your Mission Statement does not need to be anything profound or at all poetic! It simply needs to convey your core values and why you do what you do each and every day.

If you find that you’re in need of a little bit of help defining your life’s purpose or creating your own personal mission statement, don’t worry! You can always refer back to Episode 004  and Episode 058 for a crash course!



We talk about the importance of breaking our goals up into small, bite-sized pieces a lot… but I definitely think that it bears repeating here as we’re talking about ways that we can make ourselves more accountable in the workplace.

If we don’t have any clear idea of the direction we should take to achieve the goals we set for ourselves, it becomes far too easy to lose ourselves somewhere along the way.

When it comes down to it… There are a ton of benefits to writing down goals of all sizes, and long-term goals are essentially useless at face value without a clear strategy to achieve them!

To hold ourselves more accountable for the work we set out to complete and to inspire long-term success, it’s important that we manage ourselves by setting small, bite-sized goals that can serve as benchmarks that will draw us closer and closer to our long-term aspirations. Head on over to Episode 002 for some practice!



In order to become more accountable, it’s imperative that we learn how to value our time—personal or professional.

When it comes to managing yourself in the workplace, maximizing productivity during the hours that you’re actually working is incredibly beneficial in terms of long-term success.

Unsure of what you could be doing to make better use of your time? Refer back to Episode 059 to learn how it’s done!



Let’s face it… If you don’t check in with yourself often to reflect on your progress, then chances are you won’t be crossing off too many tasks on your priority list.

In order to become more accountable of ourselves at work, it’s important that we take just a little bit of time each week to reflect on what has been working for us and what hasn’t in terms of our productivity.

You can think of checking in with yourself as being equivalent to offering a fellow co-worker or employee feedback on their job performance. When you think of it, feedback happens all of the time in the workplace… and if you’re the person that hold the reins to your schedule and what you’re to do each and every day, then it’s important that you lend yourself feedback as well.

After all, how much can you improve if you don’t have any clear understanding of your work habits that could use some adjustment?  

Set aside some time each week, month, or even each quarter of the year to sit down and reflect back on the progress you have made. Ask yourself: What have I accomplished this year? What goals am I feeling stuck on? Where are my strengths and where are my weaknesses? How could I better manage my time?

The more you check in and assess the areas that could use a bit of improvement, the more likely you will be able to transform your productivity, your attitude on the job, and your performance overall.



No matter the task at hand… Receiving a reward or some special recognition for a job done well is incredibly effective when it comes to boosting or maintaining productivity in the workplace. After all, the promise of a reward often makes us work harder to achieve what we want, right?

The reward system works whether you’re a part of a team, or whether you’re the person in charge of your accountability… Once you have broken your priority list up into small, bite-sized pieces… a really great practice to help make yourself accountable of seeing those goals through to completion is to reward yourself each time you reach a new benchmark.

Rewards could range from taking an extra five minutes at break time, treating yourself to your favorite lunch out, or leaving work a bit early once you’ve completed everything on your weekly priority list…

Anything you might consider as a reward for a job done well, take it! You might be surprised how well this system does to keep you motivated to complete your tasks on time more and more in the future.



What are some things that have helped you become more accountable in the workplace? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below… And be sure to tune in to Episode 100 of Productivity Paradox where we’re talking all about the importance and the benefits of having a good support system in place!



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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton