I'll start this with a crosspost from my blog.
Do you wanna be my accountability buddy?
I do have a habit of not taking a task seriously if it doesn’t have any relation with my job or my studies at university. At the same time I’m always lamenting that I don’t have enough time for things such as singing, writing, playing and exploring in the widest sense. I do think that they are important to me but I don’t prioritize them in my time schedule. For example, I feel that writing a text for my blog about what my problems are with some ways feminism is practiced has lower priority than writing a uni assignment about a focus group study that I will probably never conduct.
This prioritization is also reflected in the state of progress of these two texts. You probably have read neither of them, but I can tell you that the proposal for the focus group study is finished and graded whereas the text about feminism is residing in a preliminary rough draft in a tab next to the one I’m writing this text in right now. And that’s not because I think the feminism text is not important – in fact I think that in terms of potential implications it’s probably more important than the research proposal – but because for some reason I just don’t sit down and write it up.
After some pondering and reading Dale Stephen’s book I think I’ve come to an answer why I have written six 15-page seminar papers in the last year but not a single text for my blog: it’s because nobody expects me to write it. At uni I have deadlines, I have my peers asking me whether I’ve already started writing that damn paper, I have the guarantee of getting feedback (even if it is only a grade) and if I fail to hand in my paper, I will not get credit for the work I’ve already done during the semester. When I write a text for my blog, there is no deadline, nobody asks me whether I already started writing that new post, chances are that nobody will ever read my text and there are no consequences if I don’t write anything at all (apart from me thinking “argh, I should have written that”). And that’s the story for a lot of things I want to get done outside my job and studies. I feel that they are important to me and might also be important to others but I very seldom get them done with the same dedication as uni-related stuff since the only person nagging me about them is myself.
What I take as a learning from this is that I have to organize my singing, writing, playing and exploring in a structure that also creates a kind of atmosphere of expectations that makes me get stuff done for my studies. For that I would like to convene a small group of three to four people that act as what Dale Stephens calls “accountability buddies” for each other. The idea is to meet or have a conference call once a week to talk about what each one of us wants to get done the following week and to report back on what we actually got done in the previous week. That way each member of the group can get feedback on what they have achieved and will be gently reminded to get stuff done that they for some reason did not get around to do.
So, if you are also struggling in a similar way, would like to get more things done and feel that having a peer group would be helpful, feel invited to leave a comment or send me an email at jasmin[ät]combinatori[dot]at. Depending on where everyone is from and what stuff they do, we can figure out what way to conduct these meetings is most meaningful us.