Bookending

Bookending is a way to create accountability for a task, as well as a deadline, so that the task gets done. Elite procrastinators like myself have learned to love deadlines.

Here’s how it works:¬†Say you need to submit a job application in a week. You might bookend with someone else who also has a deadline in five or so days, so that you are not working on the application at the 11th hour. This way, the last few days can be used for final proofing and edits. (Maybe you’ll even get it in early!)

If you have a project that does not involve a deadline, this is even tougher. Starting a new blog or other projects that are self-determined fall into this category. Bookending provides the structure for this project that is not automatically imposed.

Why it works:¬†¬†Accountability and a deadline. When considering bookending partners, choose someone like a colleague, so that your ego is involved. When someone else is planning to report completion of their task, this will make you want to do your part. You will not want to disappoint the other person. Bookending has only worked for me when there is a goal with both parties. It does not have to be the same goal, just an agreed-upon time to meet, either virtually or in person, to “prove” completion of the task. I once met another fellow writer at a coffee house, and we showed up with submissions to literary magazines, stamped and addressed, then put them in the mailbox together.

Do you have such a goal?