How To Hold Yourself Accountable In A Virtual World

We have been thrown headfirst into a virtual world, with online school, online work-from-home, and online meetings, in addition to our typical online activities (Netflix, Instagram, TikTok, I’m talking about you). It can be easy (trust me, I know from experience) to view responsibilities as “less important” because you can do them in your pajamas, or because they are taking place on a virtual platform, but life must go on (even when it's happening online.)


Here are some things to think about if you are struggling to hold yourself accountable for your virtual responsibilities:

  1. Who is giving their time to meet or interact with me? How do I feel about wasting their time? How would I feel if roles were reversed?

  2. Why do I feel that virtual responsibilities are less important than in-person interactions and that they can be missed or ignored?

  3. What would I do instead of attending my virtual class/meeting/etc? How would doing that alternative activity make me feel, and how would it benefit/harm me? 


Here are some strategies to hold yourself accountable:

  1. Maintain a schedule or calendar with all of your dates/times for virtual responsibilities so that they are less likely to be missed or double-booked. Immediately add new “events” to this schedule or calendar so that they are not forgotten.

  2. Set up alarms or reminders to go off at a certain time before an “event” so that you can wrap up whatever you are doing, remember your responsibilities, and be sure to be on time.

  3. Sit down at the beginning and end of each workday/work-session and remind yourself of which tasks need to be completed and by when, if you have any synchronous classes or scheduled meetings, and to be sure that you schedule in time to be offline.


It is important to realize that this virtual shift will likely continue to be our reality for some time and that it is not just a vacation. We still have responsibilities, classes, meetings, work, studying, assignments, and exams to do. Remember to always put yourself first and ensure that you take breaks from screens, schedule time for self-care, wear your glasses, move your body, and hydrate yourself.