Welcome to the Positively Living Podcast. I’m your host Lisa, a productivity strategist and accountability coach helping fellow multi-passionate creatives reduce overwhelm and boost productivity without burnout and sacrificing what they love. I use strengths, personality, and values as the drivers behind the systems and habits needed to be productive. The end game is to do less, live more, and breathe easier. 

Today, we’re going to review why multi-passionates need a unique productivity strategy. I’m sharing the challenges of being a multi-passionate creative and why traditional approaches don’t work. I’ll bring you behind the scenes and show how I approach my strategy work (with my proprietary 5-part system). This approach has helped my clients find harmony, doing what they love with those they love. I welcome you to follow along and take some of these steps yourself. Then I encourage you to contact me for more support. 

Why Traditional Productivity Hacks Don’t Work for Multi-Passionates

In a society that celebrates and elevates specialization and single-minded dedication, multi-passionate creatives can feel out of place…but in reality, they stand out. Their unique blend of talents and interests makes them some of the most creative and innovative people and potentially the busiest. That’s why multipassionates are sometimes referred to as multipotentialites (when you have multiple specialties) or serial entrepreneurs, because why have one business when you can have many?

This level of creativity is to be applauded, but it comes without challenges. Multi-passionates need to explore their many interests to be fulfilled and energized, which can actually help them be more productive. But it can also be a trap. We need to get things done and stay healthy doing it. 

Unfortunately, traditional productivity approaches tend to be singular and linear, which isn’t a good fit for us. How, then, can multi-passionates honor their passions, achieve their goals, and avoid burnout when the approaches offered don’t apply to them?  It’s like having an outfit that doesn’t fit quite right through customized productivity strategies, which is exactly what I do for my clients and how I boost my productivity. 

Productivity Challenges for Multi-Passionate Creatives

To customize our approach, we must understand the productivity challenges we face as multi-passionate creatives. We’ve got interests and talents. We’re not only passionate about many things, but we’re good at them too. In my episode on the Benefits of Being a Jack of All Trades, my guest Mike Montague and I explore how much multi-passionates bring to the table. Their natural curiosity and enthusiasm make them exceptional innovators and problem solvers. 

However, when it comes to being productive, these same strengths can create challenges too:


The #1 reason why people come to me. Because multi-passionates tend to juggle numerous projects simultaneously, they’re even more susceptible to overwhelm and burnout. 

Their eagerness to explore multiple interests can frequently spread them too thin. Their superpower of generating new ideas can be a distraction. 

The “Bright shiny object” syndrome is alive and well with us! The irony is that their very superpower of creating can be the cause of the overwhelm. 


Traditional productivity approaches emphasize single-tasking and deep focus. While this is solid general productivity advice, multi-passionate creatives may struggle because it’s hard to commit to a single project for an extended period. 

It can feel like it’s forcing you to suppress other interests and limit what you do, which can cause frustration. 

And if you’ve ever been bored or frustrated working on a project, you know how quickly you’re inclined to tune out and lose focus.

Multitasking Delays

Switching between different tasks and projects has proven to be a challenge. What we think of as multitasking is actually task switching. It can be a challenge for many, and more and more research is being done about the effects of task switching on productivity. 

Psychologists like David Meyer claim you can lose 40% of your productivity from switching a task once. Others counter that point and say it’s less, but it adds up. 

Switching efficiently requires a strong executive function, but even if you are a sharp shifter, consider the sheer quantity required when you have more and more projects. 


Sometimes we need to remember this. Society often expects individuals to specialize and excel in one field. Multi-passionate creatives may feel guilty or doubt their abilities when they can’t conform to this expectation. 

Has someone ever told you, “Why don’t you pick one thing?” How has that made you feel? Something is wrong with you? Not so! That kind of feedback drains your energy leaving you feeling deflated. We need to counteract that.

Limited Tools

All the tools and advice are developed with a singular, linear approach, leaving little room (if any) for extra jobs, hobbies, and anything beyond the standard structure. You see this, especially with calendars and planners. 

Have you tried a planner only to find out it doesn’t have enough space to fit your life, so you give up on it? Have you done this many times like me and dumped them, partially used, in a drawer? It’s a waste of time and money with an unintentional message that YOU don’t fit. Again, not so! 

Limited Techniques

Classic productivity methods like the Pomodoro Technique. While these techniques can be effective, they may need to be more flexible, stifling creative flow for a multi-passionate. And the flow state is where we are most productive. 

 They often focus on a linear approach to tasks without regard to energy or priority. They’re designed for those with a singular focus and a singular goal, potentially leaving other interests unexplored and untapped. They can work, but they’re limited when they don’t work, making you wonder if it’s you.

What to Focus on When Creating a Productivity Strategy

To unlock the full potential of multi-passionate creatives, a unique productivity strategy is necessary. The areas I focus on when considering a personalized productivity strategy include self-awareness, energy management, and prioritizing. 

Within that, we look at your personality, strengths, and values. All of this information drives the decisions you make and the approaches you use to make them the most sustainable and most effective.

The reason I mention self-awareness first is because it all starts with you. It goes back to my very first episode and my claim that it’s your #1 productivity tool.

Finding What Works For You as a Multi-Passionate Creative

When you are trying to become more of anything…organized, productive, healthier, better at whatever, it can be easy to take someone else’s advice because they’re convinced it will work for you. You might be so weary it feels easier to do what they say. You might get lucky, and it will work, but when it doesn’t, all too often, you think something is wrong with you. 

No more. What is wrong is that you haven’t found the thing that works for you yet.

Finding and developing the right productive habits that will work for you requires a willingness to look inside yourself and a desire to shift your perspective – not always easy, but the results are worth it. 

Self-awareness and self-development will do far more for your productivity than any one platform or system out there claiming to be your next solution. I’m not saying not to use them, but first, you need to figure out YOU. Keep searching for WHO you are, WHY you want to be productive, and HOW you work best.

Part of knowing yourself includes understanding your energy levels, whether from day to day or seasonally. While Time Management is a term used most often, I prefer to focus on Energy Management. It’s not Time we manage, it’s ourselves within the time we have. Secondly, in managing ourselves, we need to leverage what fuels us. 

When you look closer at your energy, you can better control how you show up. It’s not just what you do but when. Consider the following:

  • What time of day are you most alert for complex tasks? 
  • What things energize you? 
  • What things suck the life out of you? 
  • Do you have a chronic illness that demands you pace yourself? (Or a recent one that has shifted your limits?)
  • What environment is most conducive for you?
  • What would make a task feel like fun?

Once you understand your personality, strengths, values, and energy levels, you can create a truly personalized productivity strategy.

The 5-Part Productivity System

To help my clients do this, I created a 5-part system. As I go through them, consider elements of your life and you that you may have taken for granted or overlooked, maybe not considered as connecting to your productivity. This knowledge helps build a strong foundation for your personalized productivity approach, making it effective and sustainable. 

The five parts include Assessments, Inventory of Tasks/Schedules, Reviewing Routines/Habits, Identifying Goals/Gaps, and Designing and Implementing the personalized plan.

It may come as a surprise to you that the very first thing we do are assessments. I share one of them in episode 163 on the 5 Personality Traits that Affect Your Productivity Most. I’ll be doing more episodes about them, and you can also find them mentioned repeatedly in Strategy Call Episodes where I coach a client in real time. 

Some examples are #73 with Stacy Kessler and an episode set with Lauren Yee (#124 and #125) about time blocking creatively. 

To find these episodes, head to https://positivelyproductive.com/podcast/ and type “Strategy Call” in the search bar. You can also scroll the episodes on your favorite podcast player and look for the titles that have [Strategy Call] in brackets at the beginning.

Assessments aren’t only personality-based, they also include strengths and values as well as tendencies. The combination of these can tell us so much about how you work. 

For example, if you’re an Obliger (according to Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies) and you rate high in Extroversion, you may find yourself constantly doing for others and distracted by outside-driven busy work, neglecting your own needs and tasks.  We use all of this understanding not to judge, but to find the pitfalls and lean into the opportunities.

Then it’s on to parts 2 + 3. Once we have a sense of you, we start a full inventory of what’s on your to-do list, your schedule, and of course, what’s in your brain that is triggering the overwhelm. We review your routines and habits to see how you’re currently tackling what’s in front of you, figuring out not only what isn’t working but what IS because we want to celebrate that and build upon that!

Now that we know what we’re working with, we can head to part 4, where we get clear on your goals and figure out the gaps between where you are now and where you want to go. What matters, and what do you want to achieve? Are those goals realistic? If so, how do you achieve them? What kinds of systems will you need? If they’re unrealistic, how do we modify them to honor your passions and dreams while working within your limits?

Step 5 is the design phase, where it all comes together. Now we put what we know into an ideal schedule, a set of habits, with systems and processes that make sense for you and support you in the direction you want to go. Now we implement, which also includes course correcting (which is why the accountability part is so valuable). 

In Conclusion

What’s most fun about custom designing like this is you get to mix and match in a way that feels exciting and absolutely doable. You feel encouraged and respected, which can’t help but boost your productivity.

If this approach sounds like something you want to explore, I encourage you to book a free Discovery Call with me so we can go over what’s going on and see if we’re a good fit. Every call I’ve ever had has ended with the person feeling less stressed, so it’s worth the time!  I welcome you to message me directly or book the call directly, which you can do so on my website: https://positivelyproductive.com/connect/ 

When you’re a multi-passionate, you possess a wealth of creativity and innovation. I know it can get you in trouble sometimes, but it’s also a set of superpowers you can lean into as you adopt a unique productivity strategy meant just for you.