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I end almost every training, speaking, workshop, or presentation I give to staff, teams, and companies by asking attendees to find a partner and share just one thing they are committed to changing based on what they learned during our time together.

Then, I ask them to make this person their accountability buddy, a k a accountabilibuddy.

Even the most self-motivated among us can benefit from an accountabilibuddy. Accountability is one of the core elements in increasing productivity and upping your game. One of the most powerful motivators around is another person who expects you to deliver on your word. I tell people, “I’m way more likely to show up at the gym if you’re there waiting for me.” So it is with our daily habits, whether we want to begin a new one or end a no-longer-beneficial one.

Another core element in an uptick in personal productivity is “Deep Work.” This idea is from a book by the same name by Cal Newport. The book explores the concept of focused, undistracted work in an age of constant distractions. Newport argues that the ability to concentrate without distraction is becoming increasingly valuable as technology and social media encroach on our attention. He emphasizes the importance of scheduling regular periods of deep work, time blocking, minimizing shallow work, and embracing boredom to allow for deep, meaningful thinking.

Time blocking is a productivity technique where individuals divide their day into distinct blocks of time dedicated to specific tasks or activities. Each block is assigned to a particular task, project, or category of work, allowing for focused attention and efficient use of time. Time blocking is utilized by a wide range of individuals, including entrepreneurs, professionals, students, and anyone seeking to improve their time management skills.

When we combine the two together — Deep Work plus an accountabilibuddy — we get a HIVE. Imagine a beehive. In a beehive, each bee diligently does their work to help the whole colony thrive. Similarly, a HIVE is a group of likeminded people who want to be held accountable to do deep work for a period of time.

Maybe you want to ramp up sales or roll out a new product. Maybe you want to organize your recipes or photos. Maybe you need to do some research on where you will go on vacation. None of these things happen unless we just hunker down and do them. If we try to carve out a little time here and there, we find ourselves never really focusing and getting it done the way we intended.

A HIVE incorporates time blocking coupled and upleveled with accountability. If you have used time blocking in the past, you may have gotten to the end of your day and realized that the block of time you allocated to a specific purpose got hijacked by an “emergency email.” In a HIVE, that big block of time is a meeting with me and a few dozen people you don’t know yet. Who misses meetings? Not many of us. Which means you won’t miss that next big time block.

I’m running a monthly HIVE at Workzones. There’s one today, June 20, 9:30-11:30 a.m. You’re welcome to show up and check it out. There will be another Hive in July. These are brief productivity workshops plus time to work on your own deep thinking project. Come join me and other like-minded hivers and get some deep work done. Bring a project that’s something that you need to block time for so that you don’t keep kicking it down the road.

Reach out to me for the July date and more information. I hope to see you at the HIVE!

Sara Caputo transforms how individuals, teams, and small businesses navigate workflow and increase workplace efficiency. Her work has been featured in Working Women, Success, and Forbes, as well as other national and regional publications. She can be reached at

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