How to get things done (or not) and still be kind to yourself

Compassionate productivity

Do you struggle to stay on top of your tasks?

Does this lead to cycles of anxiety, guilt, self-recrimination and generally not being very nice to yourself?

If so, compassionate productivity might be for you. 

Here's the thing. 

You're not lazy or broken.

You don't need to be 'fixed'. 

You just have a certain preference for how you like to work – and you haven't yet learned to put in place the systems you need to support that working style. 

Compassionate productivity is an approach to creating these systems.

It doesn't rely on particular apps or technology (although you can certainly integrate these into your systems as you build them).

It's not about grinding through tasks or using 'hacks' to fit more into your already overloaded schedule.

Instead, it provides a framework for thinking about your work and your life.

It's a set of interlocking systems and tactics to help you stay on top of things, be more productive – and most of all, be happier and kinder to yourself.

Join the email list to find out more, and receive the free reading list to get started.


Kirstyn McDermott is a successful novelist, short story writer and poet. She’s also the co-presenter of the excellent ‘The Writer and the Critic’ podcast. Here’s her story about the month she spent doing the compassionate productivity course in November 2020:

'I used to be organised and on top of it all but due to some massive life changes, it all fell by the wayside and I have been perpetually scrambling to Do All The Things over the last few years, with no clear plan or system to support/integrate the various facets of my life. Working through the month-long Compassionate Productivity course forced me to ask myself some hard questions about what I was doing and why, what I really wanted to do with my time (as opposed to what I felt I should be doing), the genuine limitations on that time, and my personal optimum conditions for creativity and productivity. Even more importantly, it forced me to come up with the answers to those questions! Having someone to talk to who has been in the same boat, and who has come up with his own answers, was invaluable as was the weekly "check-in" factor that kept me honest. It's still early days, but already I feel much more in control of my time and the work I take on - and I've learned (again!) that I can say "no" to opportunities if appropriate. Most importantly, I have made space for my own creative work to flourish once more. Ironically, although I could see the potential in the Compassionate Productivity course, I initially dismissed the idea of enrolling as I was super busy and overloaded. Maybe I could look at it again when I had some more time? Which was, essentially, what I had been telling myself for the past few years in regards to getting my act together. Which was obviously working a treat! But I've known Andy Macrae personally for many, many years and I trust him to follow through on what he promises. I also trust that he would only be offering a system that he genuinely believed would be helpful to others. Really though, it was the "Compassionate" part of Compassionate Productivity that convinced me. Compassion is one of my core values and the idea of an approach to productivity that was based around compassion and creativity was not one that I'd come across before. It felt like it might be the perfect system for me, so it was worth making some time to find out. I'm so very, very glad I did!'

– Kirstyn McDermott

"Having hit burnout after decades of overwork, Andrew Macrae’s Compassionate Productivity approach was just what I needed to get back on track without compromising my health. He has done a deep dive into the productivity literature, tested it against twenty-first century demands in his long experience as a freelance professional editor, and emerged with pearls of wisdom and a clear, practical system. His measured and supportive advice not only cut through the unhelpful work habits and thought patterns I had developed, but set me on a new, more realistic, resilient and sustainable pathway to achieving my goals."

– Matt

About me

My name's Andrew Macrae. I'm a writer and editor based in Hobart, Australia. I've spent years trying (and often failing) to stay on top of my to-do list. Somehow, I've managed to publish a novel, finish a PhD and build a thriving freelance business. During this time, I've developed a set of systems and approaches to productivity and to life as a creative/knowledge worker that are too good to keep to myself. I want to help you with your struggles to get more done – and above all, be kind to yourself.