Nobody looking over your shoulder, nobody telling you what to do…
Except, when you do not have a boss because the boss is you, there’s a really crucial thing missing, and it’s the cause of much struggle and even business failure – and research backs that up.
The missing element?
As nice as it is to not have a boss looking at your performance and output, it’s that very ‘being watched’ that causes the self-awareness we need to stay on task and keep moving forward.
Now here’s the fun part that psychologists have discovered:
The watcher doesn’t have to be a boss.
In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a real person.
Simply a face – or even just the image of an eye, drawn or cartoon-style or stylised – directed at you and watching you, triggers self-awareness on a subconscious level, and measurably changes your state, and influences your way of operating.
So if you struggle to stay on task, get yourself a portrait of someone, or of an eye, draw something, or find an image online, and place it on your desk or wall, in your field of vision.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a good drawing, or a face, or just an eye, or a good portrait – so long as someone is watching you.
The effect is subtle and incremental over time, but it’s powerful.
And, this might sound weird, but if you want to take it a step further, make it a mirror, so that the watcher is you. Even more powerful.
Most powerful of all, of course, is getting yourself accountability coaching.
Ain’t cheap. Is effective.
Also published on Medium.