What would you give to stroke a few of your hardest tasks off your “to do” list without having to do them yourself (and without paying a dime)? How about giving your time in kind?! The principle is simple. We call it a work swap and before I go any further, let me give credit to my friend Tanya, owner of Board of Your Life and my accountability partner, for dreaming up this gem of an idea.
Here’s how we work it:
- Each week during our accountability partnership meeting (see post below), we each look at our respective “to do” lists;
- We then name the tasks we have been putting off or don’t want to do (i.e. something we dislike, find boring, feel is too complicated etc.);
- From this short list (or sometimes long list!) we narrow the list to the tasks we believe our partner could take on: Researching business banking options could work whereas calling my sister to organize our parents wedding anniversary wouldn’t. I am sure you get the drift;
- The next part is fun. We each get to pick what we will take on for the other. The idea is to swap approximately one hour of time per week so that dictates how many tasks we swap.
- We then agree to a deadline. In our case, because we already have a telephone meeting every Monday, we use that as our deadline.
Miraculously, our swapped tasks usually get done very quickly because it is often much easier to do someone else’s work than your own. So far we have swapped tasks like researching how to get wide readership for a blog, revising a LinkedIn profile, and brainstorming a list of potential blog post topics, to name a few. And it just so happens, that in doing certain tasks for Tanya, I have been able to learn things that are applicable to my own business. But the benefits don’t stop there.
In addition to crossing procrastinated tasks off our lists and helping a friend/colleague do the same, more often than not, we are in such a state of flow that we each tackle your own work with renewed inspiration and enthusiasm. And that, my friends, is the beauty of a work swap. Try it. You’ll like it! And when you do, please send me feedback.