There is one primary difference between accountability and responsibility. You can share responsibilities with others, but being accountable means that you are answerable for your specific actions.
You can only be held accountable after a task is finished or left incomplete. Responsibilities can be assigned before, during, or after a project.
If you want to maximize your productivity, then you should practice both every day.
How to Take More Responsibility
If you are trying to become a more responsible person, then there are five specific ways that you can improve this trait in your life.
1. Stop making excuses for your actions.
If you make a mistake for any reason, then take ownership of it. Transferring the blame to something or someone else might seem like a smart way to get out of trouble, but it also reflects the fact that you’re admitting to the mistake. Excuses are how cowardice expresses itself.
If you find yourself in a situation where you must admit to an error, then be honest about the incident.
2. Start doing something while you stop complaining.
The people who complain the most in life tend to talk a lot without doing anything. It is far easier to be big with your words instead of setting an example with your actions. If you see a problem that needs to be resolved, then do the work yourself or teach the person making an error how to do things the correct way.
3. Manage your money better.
Most people spend their paycheck before the end of each period. This issue can cause them to stop paying their bills because they opted for instant gratification. If you start to manage your money better so that you put a little away each month, you’ll find that it becomes easier to manage your duties in the other areas of your life too. Spending recklessly will encourage this behavior to filter down to your job duties, relationships, and other essential areas of life.
4. Create a plan to stop procrastinating.
If you want to be successful, then you need to work longer than other people are willing to work. You must work harder than others. You’ll need to be more dedicated than them as well. If you are wasting time by scrolling through your social media feeds, browsing the Internet, or watching TV instead of working on a hobby, then it will be challenging to catch up to those who are reading books, going for walks, or staying focused on their job.
5. Maintain a consistent schedule whenever possible.
Having a routine means that there is an order to your life. Being responsible can be as simple as waking up at the same time each day. It is tangible evidence that you are in control of everything you choose to do in life. Instead of letting other people take the blame for you, sticking to your schedule helps you to create a foundation of accountability where you are allowing everyone to know what your plans are.
How to Become More Accountable
If you want to be more accountable to your decisions and actions each day, then there are some specific steps that you can take to add this element to your life as well.
The first thing you’ll want to do is create a personal mission statement. It is easy to get caught up in the routine tasks of life, losing track of who you are or what you want. Once you create this vision for your life, make sure that you share it with other people so that they know what you want to do as well.
Creating a to-do list each day of the projects that need to get finished can help you to stay accountable as well. It helps to build a checklist that starts at the most critical task that requires completion. Then add the other items that are pressing deadlines for you. By tackling the most challenging part of your day when you have the most energy, it becomes much easier to accomplish everything on that list.
When you start your day, make sure that you’re completing one task at a time. If you switch your energy between multiple chores, then you’ll lose an extensive amount of productivity time. Each switch could cost you 15 minutes. If you try to juggle four tasks at once, then you’ll lose a full hour of production even if you only switch to each item on your list once.
Then make sure that you review your to-do lists every night before going to bed. Take the time to study what you were able to accomplish. If you didn’t get everything done that day, then look at the reasons why that didn’t happen. Scheduling time to reflect, especially with a trusted associate, will help you to make better decisions throughout life.
And finally, take the time to reward yourself when you successfully hold yourself accountable in some way. If you finish a tough project on time, then you might consider having dinner at your favorite restaurant or going to see a movie. You might let yourself spend half of a Saturday reading a book you’ve wanted to start. It is always more effective to take this approach instead of penalizing yourself for a perceived failure.
How to Improve Responsibility and Accountability
You can volunteer to be more responsible in your life, both personally and professionally. If you want to hold yourself more accountable, then give yourself an honest review each day. You can also ask your family, friends, or your boss at work for a performance review over the areas you want to improve.
Ask yourself some specific questions. What do you accomplish the most this year? Did you meet your goals? When you take this approach, it will help you to grow as a person in multiple ways.