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External Accountability Mechanisms to Promote Productivity


For any business — not to mention for any individual who wants to achieve their full potential — finding ways to maximise productivity can be of the utmost importance.

In any professional context, resources are going to be somewhat limited and will need careful management in order to ensure they aren’t squandered. Likewise, even on a personal level, no one has an infinite amount of time or energy available over the course of any given day — and so both of these things need to be managed well.

Out of all of the different approaches for increasing productivity that exist, there’s good reason to think that some of the most effective steps to take might be those that involve external accountability mechanisms.

Here are some examples of external accountability mechanisms that can help to promote productivity.

Regular customer feedback reviews

Establishing a good customer feedback loop within your business — whereby you continually check in with the customer experience of your product or service and then strive to iteratively improve it over time — is one of the best things any business can do when it comes to boosting both their productivity and their accountability.

As a general rule, the more responsive you are to trends in customer feedback, the better able you will be to provide a product or service that resonates with the greatest number of people, in the most impactful manner.

Paying close attention to customer feedback also helps to reduce wasted or unproductive endeavours within the business, as you will know quite quickly whether or not they are having the desired impact.

Team meetings and the involvement of others in your projects

Many, if not most, new entrepreneurs begin their business ventures “solo” — and keep their businesses running in a “solopreneur” fashion for quite some time.

One of the issues with this, though, is that it means going without one of the most important accountability mechanisms of all — the supervision, input, support and expectations of your team members.

By getting other people involved in your projects to one degree or another — even if only a freelancer or two — can help to make you significantly more productive and accountable, as it will remind you that other people will be directly impacted by your efforts, too.

Accountability and time tracking apps and services

Today, there are a wide variety of different apps and services designed specifically in order to help individuals and businesses stay accountable and on task.

The “commitment contract” service StickK, for example, involves you putting your own money on the line and potentially enlisting a third party “referee” to judge whether or not you are staying on track with your commitments.

Even simple time tracking apps and tools with built in reminder features can help to bring you focus back to the present moment, and can help to ensure that you don’t let your attention wander for too long, in an unchecked manner.

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