This is purely anecdotal but based on at least a dozen personal experiences I’ve had in recent months.

First, the word “homework” seems to be more effective than “task,” “action (item),” “priority,” “to-do,” or most others we use when assigning work, whether to ourselves or others. It makes me curious if “homework” carries a deeply embedded emotional connection to the notion of responsibility from our childhood.

In many sessions over the past year, I’ve seen better follow-through when I used “homework” instead of other words. Sure, some people scoff or laugh at it the first time but it didn’t happen after that.

Second, choosing our homework (and deadline) seems to be far more effective than being asked what to do. When we exercise that choice, we take ownership. And when we share that choice publicly with peers or co-workers, the ownership goes to another level.

In those same sessions, not only have I experienced better follow-through but also more complete and higher quality work. It seems that people don’t want to disappoint their peers or embarrass themselves, either of which can be powerful motivators.

So watch out…when you’re in a Junto session, you may get homework. But at least you’ll get to choose it.