Graduate School Productivity Support Club

by Melissa Smith - Wed, 15 Mar 2023

Graduate school is hard.

Of course, it's designed to be rigorous and intense and requires mastery of a massive chunk of prerequisite knowledge.

But it is not just academically difficult. It requires a level of focus, self-direction, self-management, and discipline that many students have not yet encountered. And there are …

Recommendation: Therapist Uncensored

by Melissa Smith - Mon, 07 Nov 2022

What if you could carry the kind, thoughtful voices of therapists with you wherever you go?

The Mystery of the Penguin Footprint cPTSD

by Melissa Smith - Sun, 09 Oct 2022

A painting created by penguin footprints triggered my cPTSD.

While this statement is factually true, it’s also an oversimplification and very linear explanation. Unpacking the details yields a story that is much more circuitous, which is entirely on brand for my experience with cPTSD.

So let’s start at …

I’m Not Just the Owner, I’m a Client Too

by Melissa Smith - Mon, 19 Sep 2022

One of the strengths I bring to my coaching work is lived experience with my own neurodiversity. And that lived experience is something I'm still accumulating. While I’ve read many solutions and strategies and created plenty of other solutions of my own, I still struggle sometimes with many of …

Building a Tidying Habit: The Graph Paper Method

by Melissa Smith - Sun, 04 Sep 2022

Summary: This method provides logistical and emotional support for building a tidying habit if you have ADHD, Autism, or other struggles with executive functioning. Its companion piece, How Executive Functioning Impacts Tidiness, explains the underpinnings of difficulties with tidying. Each step in The Graph Paper Method is intentional, and I …

How Executive Functioning Impacts Tidiness

by Melissa Smith - Sun, 04 Sep 2022

Summary: Have you ever wondered why keeping a tidy living space is so hard? This article explains key components about why your neurodivergent brain struggles to keep your living space tidy and the methodology and support to build a neurodivergent-friendly daily tidyness habit. This article has a companion post, Building …

Why To-do Lists Don't Work for You

by Melissa Smith - Wed, 19 Jan 2022

When I hear the term 'to-do list', I think of a classic, single-column pile of tasks that are unsorted and unprioritized. These kinds of lists are serviceable at best and at worst can be defeatist, paralyzing, and a recipe for failure. They fail spectacularly when you struggle with decision fatigue …

The Hidden Dangers of Remote Work 😱😱😱

by Melissa Smith - Tue, 08 Sep 2020

In the last issue of the newsletter, I teased that I was cooking up something exciting. It’s still cooking; no risk of whatever the newsletter equivalent of food poisoning from serving half-baked ideas. Nope. I don't want to spoil the day after the weirdest Labor Day ever. (Happy Labor …

When Your Prefrontal Cortex is Closed For Business Due to the Pandemic

by Melissa Smith - Mon, 10 Aug 2020

Bear with me while I set a bit of context for today’s topic. First, let’s talk about executive functioning. That’s the set of skills you use to make decisions, prioritize, and plan your morning, your day, and your life. Maybe you have some days where you are …

When Remote Work is a Literal Pain in the Neck or Back

by Melissa Smith - Mon, 13 Jul 2020

It is easy to accidentally spend the entire day curled over your laptop, typing away at your latest documentation manifesto. Or to have a million stressful chats, emails, and phone calls which leave your shoulders up by your ears. Your body will yell at you when you do these things …

Separation of Work and Personal: Don’t Cross the Beams

by Melissa Smith - Wed, 20 May 2020

Today’s message is pretty simple: don’t use your work computer for personal business when you work from home.

This may seem obvious, but I think it's important enough that it’s worth reminding ourselves of it on a regular basis. When we’re at home the lines get …

Calling in Sick

by Melissa Smith - Wed, 06 May 2020

It can be hard to figure out when to call in sick when you work from home. You don’t have to worry about getting your co-workers sick, so you might be inclined to call in sick only under the most extreme circumstances, right? That, my friends, is one of …

Remote Culture Without a Petri Dish

by Melissa Smith - Wed, 29 Apr 2020

Straight to the punch today, let’s dive right into some ways you can build a great culture for remote workers within your company.

While Everyone is Still Remote

Start remote office traditions. For many offices, there’s a feeling of togetherness and camaraderie that keeps the team together and …

10 tips for handling technical issues when you work from home

by Melissa Smith - Mon, 23 Mar 2020

Several people requested a post focused on technical support. There were lots of different questions covering many different platforms and needs. The specifics and details of peoples’ conundrums were far more specific than I could handle. But I consider it my job to look for patterns and universals, and find …

Repurpose your Commute

by Melissa Smith - Wed, 18 Mar 2020

Today I want to talk about commutes. The wonderful thing about working from home, of course, is that you’ve reduced your commute time to less than five minutes. But commutes are valuable parts of the day by helping:

  • maintain a boundary between work from home so that work doesn …