How to Be Productive During Manic Episodes

Updated on October 19, 2017

When you have a mental disorder that includes periods of mania, you need to learn to deal with these episodes in a productive manner. Schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders all have manic periods.

You can let yourself go with the flow, which isn't a good idea, or you can use this extra energy to be productive and get things done.

I have schizoaffective disorder, and these are things I've learned to do. Besides getting things done, these are also coping mechanisms. It helps to keep things under control.

Instead of being impulsive, you can learn to control your behavior and funnel the extra energy into something productive, like writing or art, and possibly even make a little money along the way. I make a little money with my writing and occasionally sell a piece of artwork on eBay. These are the fruits of my labor.

Prepare for Manic Periods

Have a plan of action before your manic period starts. It is always best to be prepared.

Have your goals already set up for these periods. Have any supplies you may need ready. If your thing is art, make sure you have plenty of paint and canvases to get you through your manic episode. If you are a writer, make sure you have plenty of notebooks and pens. I do both.

I like to have a written plan ready to go at a moment's notice. I keep all of my plans in a notebook. I have plenty of activities prepared to start working on right away, as well as article ideas and outlines, plenty of paint, and collage supplies.

I also keep my days planned out. I know the best times to work on any particular project. I know I write the best in the mornings and paint the best in the afternoons.

Have a plan, and stick to it!

Be Organized

One of my own tips I need to work on a bit more is, "Be organized!"

I am generally organized on paper, but my art workspace is messy and unorganized, as shown below.

Why would I embarrass myself like that in public? Because I want to make a point.

Being organized, especially if you have a mood disorder, is vitally important.

Things can easily turn to chaos. I know this from experience. Sometimes it gets to the point where I have to write everything—and I mean everything,—sown on my to-do list. I prioritize the items and tick them off as I go. This means I don't have to think about what to do next, and it leaves no room for mischief.

If I can't relax at times like these, at least I can try to keep the chaos at bay.


Research and Study

Manic episodes are a good time for research and study. The reason I say this is because, during manic periods, I am able to concentrate to a high degree and focus exclusively on one subject.

At times this might be excessive. So I choose what I will obsess over. This is where planning comes in. Have a few topics you want to study or research ready beforehand. This way you won't get stuck obsessing over trivial things, and if you choose your topics well, you might just be productive and learn something useful.

My current topic of research is Patreon. I can learn how it works, how to be successful, and how to make some money. This is more productive than obsessing over sacred geometry or religion like I tend to do if I'm not careful.

Set Goals

Setting goals is a vital part of planning. I make sure I have several big goals planned out for my manic times. These are projects I reserve just for these times. My current project is to set up a Patreon page. My writing goal is to get on the "Ranks" board on Verily and to get to 50 Hubs on HubPages. All of my projects are at a manageable level and at a manageable timescale. They are short-term projects that can be done within a few weeks.

Choose relatively short projects. Make sure you are not overwhelming yourself with too big of a goal. My manic periods usually last for a few weeks, so I plan accordingly.


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