“10 Insights from Productivity Expert Michael Leddy’s Exclusive Interview”

Increasing Productivity with Michael Leddy

Productive Interview Series

In today’s fast-paced world, finding ways to increase productivity is essential. Many successful individuals swear by using life hacks and developmental tips to enhance their work performance. As part of the Productive Interview Series, we speak to Michael Leddy, a professor in a college English department, a blogger, and one of our monthly contributors to lifehack.org. He shares his personal experiences and life hacks that have helped him become more productive.

Who is Michael Leddy?

Michael Leddy is a professor teaching mostly poetry, modern American literature, and classics in translation in a college English department. He has done much writing for small specialized audiences, literary criticism, and poetry. For the past two years, he has been blogging on Orange Crate Art. Michael’s main interests outside of literature are musical, mostly jazz and blues. He is married to Elaine Fine, a violist/violinist, and composer.

What has Michael done to increase his productivity?

According to Michael, without a datebook, he would be lost. He has been using a homemade datebook for the last two years, which is a pocket Moleskine notebook with two pages per day. The Moleskine is a Swiss Army knife in book form; it holds schedules, writing ideas, a paper ruler, a Band-Aid, blank Post-it Notes, some useful quotations. For important projects or exam weeks, Michael supplements the Moleskine with index cards or a piece of paper. Presently, with final examinations ahead, he has the next eight days scheduled on a yellow legal pad page.

Michael believes that using good quality supplies can bring inspiration to work. He is devoted to using ink pen, fountain pen, and a pocket Moleskine or legal pad when he writes. When grading papers, he uses Zebra ballpoints. His favorite text-editor is Notepad2, not Word. Michael also mentioned FlyakiteOSX, which he uses as skinning software, making everything on his Windows laptop a pleasure to look at.

To counteract monotony, Michael sometimes works on a large table he uses as a desk at home. Alternatively, he reads while sitting on the floor, up against the side of their upright piano. He also finds inspiration working in the college library or Elaine’s college library. Michael has an office, but, like many people in academia, he does not get much done there.

What is Michael’s best life hack?

Michael’s favorite life hack is using a kitchen timer to implement the 45/15 rule. He works for 45 minutes, then takes a 15-minute break. This technique helps him to be productive, knowing a break is coming during long sessions of grading papers.

Michael’s favorite posts on lifehack.org

Apart from the post he just mentioned, Michael likes the ‘8 Life Hacks for Health, Wealth, and Happiness’ post and the quicksilver tutorial. As a Mac lover, he found it useful. He also likes any posts that remind him to keep doing what he’s already doing.


Michael’s productivity tips offer much-needed insight. It’s clear that organization and preparation play an essential role in increasing productivity. The use of good quality supplies and work environment variations keep monotony at bay. The use of a kitchen timer to implement breaks during long sessions keeps motivation high during challenging times. Incorporating these life hacks and tips into daily routines can help one become more productive.

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