How to be productive

*This post will likely be a work in progress as I come up with more advice.*

I have ADHD but I really learned how to work with my disorder rather than medicate it.  At my peak, I worked two full time and eight part time jobs and take classes.  (By the way, do not recommend unless you love all of them.)

I have routinely been asked how I deal with work-life balance especially my stage management mentees who really need it.  It just so happens that another student of mine and I ended up in a conversation, then another person asked for advice so here are some possible bits to help.


Recommended books

  1. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance 
  2. The 12 Week Year



  1. I don’t have future goals as crazy as this seems.  I have shorter present goals that LEAD to future goals.  Like I want to publish another book.  I don’t write that down as a goal.  My daily goal however is to write a few sentences on one of my papers.  It’s easy, it’s manageable, and has a deadline.  If I write four sentences, it’s fine.  If I write 2-3 pages, I am fine.  I was sitting in physical therapy waiting a few minutes and that’s when I wrote a few sentences.  I have daily, weekly, monthly, or semester.  Anything else out there is considered very long term.  😉  Take it one day at a time.  All “goals” are broken down into smaller goals.  You can also use the SMART goal system.
  2. On my youtube channel I do mention some of the programs I use as well as some others swear by for time management.  My best friend used to love Trello, but I was more of a Airtable and Habitica person.  I still am with Airtable.  Habitica does my daily goals.  Airtable does my weekly.  I have a paper binder for monthly. 
  3. If you are easily distracted by other ideas, open up a google document or something.  Write down the ideas for later.  That is why I have.  I have a whole list of books and articles to get back to for when I have another opening on my project list or if  conference just HAPPENS to open that relates to something well then I have ideas already there.
  4. Start getting organized and refine things over time.  That’s how I do what I do.  When I was in high school, I was a full time student and had a full time job and a part time job.  It gets stuff done.  When I was in graduate school the first time, I was told to dedicate 12 hours per 3 credit class.  Well I physically moved beads around to count the hours.  Every class had a different colour.  Now I do this electronically with Airtable.
  5. This past April, I had 16 high school students asking me 3-4 questions which mostly came down to work-life balance as a part time stage manager which is a known to be a big pain in the butt and is a huge commitment where work-life is always messed up.  I shared what I could with them about the time management issues since that is the big thing. It’s all about learning how to time manage.  It’s also also about finding pockets of time and doing small things in small pockets.  It’s the little things like using Kroger pickup instead of going shopping myself.  You teach?  Can you pop into your dropbox when you are waiting for pizza delivery?  Or when your spouse pauses a video?  Can you place a Kroger pickup order at 2 am for grocery pickup?  Great.  Waiting in line?  Might as well clear your spam box.  Now you don’t have to use a bigger part of time to do those.   You can do bigger things in bigger chunks of time.  Saves hours. 


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