Inspired by Matthew Cornell’s post on combining daily planning with an accountability partner, I had been doing the same for a while. I found that it worked really well. I telecommute, and most of the day I don’t directly interact with anyone, much less people from work that might hold me accountable. Just knowing that at the end of the day, I had someone to report to on how I stuck to my plan, made a huge difference in my discipline. However, it didn’t work out for my partner — he wasn’t getting the same benefits that I was.
As a result of some conversation in the comments of another of Matthew’s posts, I decided to get a domain and start up a simple site (didyoudo.it) for finding accountability partners. It took a little finagling to get an Italian domain name, but I owe one of my fellow graduate students a case of beer for the effort he undertook to get the domain for me. It seems you must be a European citizen to get an Italian domain name, and they require arcane things like faxing signed forms and so on. I think the name has a nice ring to it.
So far the site hasn’t really gotten much traffic. One guy found it via my Tweets on the subject and we just started the accountability partner thing today (yay!), so in a sense it’s been a successful venture. On the other hand, I had grander visions for the site. I wonder if I should broaden the focus a bit from productivity-related accountability partners to any accountability partners? There’s a major Christian accountability scene, and I didn’t really want them to dominate the board, but maybe it’s not worth worrying about.
Have you ever thought about working with an accountability partner? If you want to, and you feel like you’ve got a good grasp on your productivity otherwise, come post something at didyoudo.it. If you want a little more coaching, I understand that Matthew does a telecoaching series on daily planning and accountability. It might help get you off to a good start before you find your own accountability partner.