Productivity pods help keep each other accountable, motivated and productive – especially when that evil thing we know as procrastination rears its ugly head.“How do you handle it when you just can’t seem to get anything done?”


That’s what my friend asked me this morning when we met for breakfast. She said she’d been staring at the same stack of file folders for two days, just willing them to go away. I told her that I could relate – the same thing happens to me all the time.

“I rely on my Productivity Pods,” I said. And then she promptly spit out her coffee. “You mean, one of those sleeping thingamajigs?” she asked. “Like the ones in the Google movie?”

She was referring, of course, to The Internship, where two middle-aged guys played by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn land a sweet gig at Google headquarters. They can’t believe their fortune when they discover the company’s many employee perks, like free food, playful meeting spaces, and the iconic Productivity Boosting Nap Pods. But as cool as those thingamajigs are (and they cost about $16,000, by the way), that’s not what I was talking about.

“Oh wait,” she said. “I bet you’re talking about watching podcasts online, right?” A good idea, but again, not quite what I had in mind.

So what are Productivity Pods?

My version of Productivity Pods (and yes, I named them myself) are made up of individuals who agree to be part of a let’s-get-this-done buddy system. They help keep each other accountable, motivated and productive – especially when that evil thing we know as procrastination rears its ugly head.

When I explained this idea to my friend, she just stared back at me, as if I had sprouted a new nose. And then she said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I can’t say that I blame her.

What do you do with your Productivity Pods?

I actually have several different people that make up my various Pods. We connect when we need accountability and camaraderie to get projects done. But I bet you’re still probably wondering what it is we actually do, right?

For starters, we check-in with each other every week to touch base on projects we’re working on or to hold each other accountable to specific tasks. For me, this is usually a virtual check-in, but you could also do the same thing with a quick phone call if that works better for you.

Another thing I like to do is schedule casual co-working time, when we can work on our own respective projects … kind of like a mini work marathon. This could be virtual time, or it could be a side-by-side work session at the nearest coffee joint.

For example, once a week I meet virtually with one of my Podsters (yes, I made that up too) to hold me accountable to regular blog writing. This is because I was having a tough time actually sitting down and creating posts – and for some annoying reason they just weren’t writing themselves!  No matter how much I tried, I wasn’t being consistent or holding myself accountable for this task.

That’s where my friend Candice stepped in.

We set up a virtual meeting each Monday specifically for this purpose – to hold each other accountable to writing for an hour. And guess what? By the end of that hour, Candice usually has a first draft complete, and so do I!

Productivity Pods are great solutions for those of us who need a little extra motivation and accountability now and then. – Tweet This!

And really, who doesn’t? If you’re interested in forming your own group of Podsters, let me know – I’d love to help!

In the meantime, here’s a question: What do you do when you find yourself procrastinating on projects? What works and what doesn’t? Leave your responses below.


Most leaders struggle with disengagement, dysfunction, and non-productive behaviors with their teams. We deliver training that develops leaders and engages teams to increase your company results.