How a Zoom room full of strangers helps you smash through to-dos

Accountability, particularly in a work context, can sound like a threat. But, done right, it’s a wonderfully freeing thing. And for many people, it’s the missing link in their working lives since they’ve moved to a majority working-from-home lifestyle.

Let me explain.

What is accountability?

Simply put, accountability is being responsible for what you do. And being able to show why you do it and demonstrate how well you did it.

It’s why daily stand ups are a good idea in fast-moving workplaces. And why giving the promising new intern responsibility for something important often helps them flourish.

Accountability means that when you say you’re going to get something done, you think it through and get it done.

This is terrifying to professional procrastinators. But embracing accountability means you get more done, get better work done, and get a whole lot more satisfaction out of the experience.

That’s what we aim to do with our virtual accountability groups. We call them Flocks. Before we tell you what they are and why they work, let’s look at why you need them…

WFH and accountability

Has shifting to a WFH lifestyle been a revelation for you? Or hard?

Many people report an erosion of separation between work and home life. While we’re more connected to our managers than ever (constantly chiming Slack/Teams/WhatsApp/SMS and more are testament to that), you often get an overkill of communication and an undersupply of team camaraderie, support, and time to focus on deep work.

It’s also possible to enjoy the flexibility of remote work, while also missing the social cues and work-life separation you get from an on-site team.

It’s hard to knuckle down when the baby is under your feet, the fridge is a few steps away, and your Prime use is so rampant that you’re on first-name terms with your local Amazon van driver.

That’s where virtual accountability comes in.

What is virtual accountability?

Virtual accountability gives you a community of supporters, with each individual bringing their own goals to an online meet up. You each work silently together to get things done.

Remember the effect the library had on your productivity at university? It’s a bit like that, but without the chewing gum under your chair.

It sounds weird – the kind of thing that you can imagine visiting aliens witnessing, looking at each other in bemusement, and turning their spaceship around, shaking their heads.

But here’s the kicker: for us humans, virtual accountability works.

Why virtual accountability works

In short, virtual accountability lets remote knowledge workers tap into a load of brain cues that help you concentrate and achieve your goals.

Stating your goals in public (even to an audience of strangers) is a powerful psychological driver that commits you to achieving what you intend to achieve.

But it’s not simply an act of putting additional pressure on yourself to work hard. The experience of working with others also produces brain states that make you feel great.

Dopamine whooshes through you as you tick off your to-dos. Plus the commitment to work without distraction ushers you towards the Nirvana of ‘flow’ – the state of being where your consciousness merges with your work and you lose track of time because, well, doing good work at the peak of your powers is really quite absorbing).

How Flocks work

So, that’s why virtual accountability might just be the answer to any work woes you might be experiencing. Let’s move on to how FLOWN gives you virtual accountability in a supportive and fun way.

We call our groups Flocks. FLOWN members join the meet-up (run on Zoom), and one of our expert facilitators guides you through. You’ll be welcomed, split into smaller groups to share your intentions, and then set off to get your deep work done.

We run morning Take-Off sessions, to give you time to journal and share you intentions for the day.

And we run various Deep Dive sessions (two- or one-hour versions are available), during which you state your intentions, and sit and work silently together with you group. There’s a break halfway through – our facilitators always have something fun up their sleeves to keep your mind zingy.

Try it now

So ignore those skeptical visiting aliens and try a FLOWN Flock today. FLOWN members can sign up to any of our sessions free.

Join now. Sign up. And tap into the weird but wonderful power of accountability, FLOWN style.

P.S. This article AND another article was brought to you by and during a FLOWN Flock. A two-hour deep working session that garnered more than 1,491 words. High five!

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