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Time Swapping: 3 Ways to Find More Time for the Things You Enjoy

How can you find time for your hobbies, goals and aspirations? Use this strategy to get more done every day.

Does this sound familiar?

“Someday, I’m going to find a hobby/read this book/write that book.”

“Oooh, next week, I’ll finally start working out.”

“I really want to launch a podcast/blog/course to promote my business, but who has the time?”

The answer to that last question is, “You do!”

A little time-swapping – along with a commitment to yourself – will help you increase your productivity, so you can take things off the backburner.

Time-swapping basics

The concept of time-swapping is simple. Find pockets of time when you are not very productive. This could be on hold during a phone call, standing in line or waiting to be let into a Zoom meeting. Use them to your advantage.

When you spend on-hold time making to-do lists, drafting emails, finding events to attend, reading, writing, planning or dreaming, that’s time well-spent!

Even if you use only a fraction of your found time on a passion project, you’ll still make a dent in those often ignored back-burner goals. 

Here are three more ways to find time to swap:

1) Netflix time

We all love our Netflix… or Hulu… or whatever our preferred platform for binge-watching after a long day. I’m not saying to get rid of binge-time. Just shorten it. Binge one less episode a night, a few times a week, and see what you can accomplish during that found time.

2) Your prime time

When is your prime productivity time? In the morning? Late at night? By extending your day – getting up 15 to 30 minutes earlier or staying up a little later – you can sneak in some productivity. Not sure which is your prime time? Try them both and see what works best for you.

3) Cooking time

Whether you’re a natural cook or someone who took up cooking as a COVID-hobby, chances are you’re eating out a lot less. One of the best ways to do food prep is to batch your cooking time. Pick one day a week to make multiple meals. You can easily freeze things like soup, spaghetti sauce and casseroles to pull them out later. I also love the Instant Pot as a productivity hack.

Final thoughts on time-swapping

To commit to your goals, you don’t have to make sacrifices. You just need to be creative with how you spend or swap your time.

Where do you find found time? And how do you use it? Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments.

Editor’s note: this article was originally posted on LinkedIn.

About the author

Goal-setting expert Debra Eckerling is the creator of The DEB Method, a system of goal-setting simplified. She is also the award-winning author of “Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning, and Achieving Your Goals.” A corporate consultant, workshop leader and panel moderator, Eckerling is on a mission to change goal culture in and out of the workplace. She is the host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn and The DEB Show podcast.

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