How to Create an Accountability Planner to Stay on Track
An Accountability Planner is more than a daily bullet list or Academic Planner. It's a way to stay accountable for your day, big picture goals, and stay on track. But how do you create a system to see success? Here's where to start.
Commit to an Accountability Buddy
Research shows that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. In other words, if you tell someone your goals and stay accountable to a social circle, you're more likely to complete a project.
Ask another teacher or student to meet for a few minutes once a week to review each other's Accountability Planners or Academic Planners. Be honest about where you're struggling, if your daily routine is realistic, and make suggestions to one another on how to break through challenges and plateaus. The more you work together, the easier it gets to succeed.
Account for Small Time Windows
Teachers and students know that all of the minutes in the day count, yet time may feel wasted. Instead of struggling to find something productive to do in five or ten minutes, chart it out in your planner instead. Write-in tasks that can be done in relatively short periods:
- Respond to X many parent/student emails
- Take a walk outside to squeeze in some exercise time
- Organize supplies for the next class period
- Clean off your desk
Jotting down a list of short activities to reach for during a lull will also help you stay on track to complete more time-consuming tasks.
Batch Similar Work in Time Blocks
You may already know that batching time blocks to do like-minded tasks is a significant productivity hack. However, it can also you stay accountable for your big picture goals. When you work in chunks of time on specific tasks, you're more likely to complete them and add momentum to your day.
When you use an accountability planner (or an Academic Planner) to chart out your time batching goals, you're less likely to leave loose ends to your task at hand.
Give Students an Accountability Planner or Agenda
Teachers aren't the only ones who can stay organized with the help of an Academic Planner. Give your students (or require them in your yearly supplies) to bring in their own Accountability Planner or daily agenda. Even younger kids benefit from writing down their homework or upcoming projects and asking parents to sign every night.
When students are held accountable for their work with a simple process like writing it down in a planner, teachers are less stressed by communicating homework to parents and following up. The ultimate goal is for students to learn organizational and executive functioning skills while teachers have less busy work doing it all for their students.
Chart Out Your Personal Goals
Our career doesn't exist in a vacuum. We also need balance in our personal lives to maintain a healthy and productive lifestyle. Work on charting out your personal goals in your Accountability Planner, and keep it realistic. Working 12-hour days in the classroom and meeting with students or attending campus events is serious labor.
Adding on hours of studying something new or working out daily for an hour may not be realistic. Instead, chart out realistic goals in your planner from nutrition to exercise time that helps you find balance instead of overwhelms your day. It also enables you to stay accountable to those goals instead of letting your personal life fall to the wayside.
Plan for Some Flexibility
Our days are not set in stone once students leave the classroom. Issues arise, the people in our lives need immediate attention, and suddenly projects get left undone. Add some flexibility to your day that allows a chunk of time to catch up on missed work or deal with something unexpected.
You want your Accountability Planner to help create space to stay on track. Overloading your day leads to burn-out or a domino effect where everything starts sliding off your schedule. Instead, jot down ideas for your flex time, from a quick workout to following up on a presentation with a student.
Mark off Your Tasks
It sounds simple, but marking off your tasks or the entire day helps with accountability. Suddenly you have pages of checkmarks and the satisfaction of knowing how much you've accomplished. Then, when you face challenges, you can revisit those pages of completed work to keep you motivated to push through.
Ready to start taking accountability for your day? Shop our Paper & Plan collection to organize your day with efficiency and style. Our Academic Planners also make perfect Accountability Planners!