Time Swapping

Does this sound familiar?

"Some day, I am going to write my memoir ..."

"Oooh, next week, I am finally going to start that blog. Maybe ... "

"I really want to launch a podcast to promote my writing, but who has the time?"

The answer to that last question is, "Everyone!" With COVID rules, most people are working from home these days, which enables them to use time-swapping to increase their productivity!


Tell me, how long was your commute to work? Was it 20 minutes? An hour? And what are you doing with the time you used to spend walking, riding the bus, or driving to work? 

Use only a fraction of your weekly commute time for a passion project, side hustle, or even networking, and you will still make a dent in those often ignored back-burner goals. 
Here are 4 more ways to find time to work on your great American novel, screenplay, or passion project:

1. Driving Time. Even if you worked from home pre-COVID, you still had plenty of places to go each week from lunch meetings to the gym. Thanks to Zoom calls and video workouts, a lot of in-person events are now virtual. No more driving ... or even parking. With the time you save you can actually attend twice as many events each week.

2. 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. 

3. Your Prime Time. When is your prime writing-time? In the morning? Late at night? With family at home, you may be struggling for personal time. 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. 

4. Cooking Time. Whether you are a natural-cook or someone who took up cooking as a COVID-hobby, chances are you are 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, and pull them out later. I also love the Instant Pot as a productivity hack

To find time for those back-burner projects, you don't have to make sacrifices. You just need to be creative with how you spend and/or swap your time.

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

Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Anonymous said...

If--no when!--my memoir publishes, you will love it. Here's How I Don't Cook is certainly about TIME as well as finding ways not to really cook. And how I got to be that way. That has something with TIME or THE TIMES, TOO. It being shopped by Terrie Wolfe, AKA Literary, so please take some TIME to cross your fingers for us both! (-:

Terry Whalin said...


I've never heard of this concept but it is a great eway to get more done and "find" the time. Thank you.


Karen Cioffi said...

Debra, great tips on finding writing or other project time. I prioritize my writing, so do make time for it. Just like everyone else, the hours are cut down because of everything else in life. Thanks for sharing!,

And, Carolyn, wishing your memoir finds a home. I'll definitely read it!

Debra Eckerling said...

Good luck selling the memoir, Carolyn. That sounds awesome!

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks for your comment, Terry. I am all about finding little ways to be more productive and set yourself up for success.

Debra Eckerling said...

Thank you for your comment, Karen! People don't always realize that small bits of time add up ... so always happy to spread that message!

deborah lyn said...

Great Time-Swapping ideas Debra! Grabbing 15 here and 15 there. I think the trick is being mentally prepared for that 15 minutes when you get it. My favorite is batch cooking! Then binge watching just a little less. Thanks!

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks for your comment, Deborah! The a little-less binge-watching is key for lots of people, including me!

Don’t Depend 100% on Your Publisher

By Terry Whalin (@terrywhalin) In 2007, America’s Publicist Rick Frishman invited me to participate on the faculty of MegaBook Marketing Uni...