Welcome to The Tending Year

Productivity often feels inaccessible or inapplicable for many folks.


I aim to change that.

I am so thrilled that you’re here.

If you’re new to the blog, let me give you the quick and pretty rundown:

I started The Tending Year in January 2018 because I wanted to improve my life via the concept of tending. As I said waaaaay back in post one:

“I’m a writer by training, and tending seduced me because of its dual meaning:

to tend to: taking responsibility or care of something
to tend to do: developing habitual actions or beliefs.”

I had four key work, health, and money goals last year, all of which I checked off in large part due to my blog post research and practice. Some of my biggest accomplishments last year included paying off ALL of my credit card debt, celebrating five years of sobriety, drafting a dissertation chapter, and shifting my perspective around what it means to be “productive.”

Hence my intentional shift this year to focus on reseeing productivity as a process and through the lens of self development.

Hi, I'm Kate Litterer!

I love problem solving. 

I love anything Sherlock Holmes, concept maps, and thinking about things via metaphors.

One of the most satisfying things for me is finding ways to resee challenges through innovative planning and personalized toolkits.

And most of all, I love helping people discover how to approach productivity with joy and confidence.

Praise for The Tending Year

 “Grad Students Beyond Grad School” (link here, excerpt below)


Florianne Jimenez: Kate Litterer’s blog, The Tending Year, has been a much-needed source of support and reflection for me this year. In her blog, Kate invites us into her journey through self-development in weekly posts that chronicle what she’s reading and listening to (she loves podcasts!), how she’s translating these principles into action, and how this fits into the big picture of her life as grad student, scholar, worker, partner, and community member. I love how Kate’s blog speaks so eloquently and compassionately from a graduate student perspective (she digs into working multiple jobs, issues of work-life balance, and financial hardship), but at the same time, The Tending Year is also a great place for me to get some distance from the drudgery of grad school.”

Recent Blog Posts

2.23: How to Cope with Comparison

Comparison feels like shit. It’s also something that is marketed to us daily under a capitalist system, and especially on places like social media. My research in productivity and personal development is rife with images of beautiful homes and bodies and gaggles of success stories–all things I could compare myself to very easily. And reader, sometimes I totally do. And then I feel icky.

I didn’t want to feel icky with comparison anymore, so I decided to address my own struggles with it by asking myself a lot of questions about what happens when I compare myself to others. You can think of this as a survey of sorts, where the goal is to get to the bottom of what triggers my comparison, how I currently act when comparing myself to others, and using that data to imagine a better way to cope with comparison. This blog post will walk you through my process and offer you a revised set of questions that you can use to identify and cope with your own experiences with comparison.

2.21: Battle Work Doldrums with Pomodoro

If you’re experiencing the doldrums of work, you might feel easily distracted or bored with (or even resentful towards) your work. You might find yourself sighing and holding your ennuied head in your hands when you sit down at your desk. If you feel hopeless and unsure how you’ll ever finish your paper, dissertation, grant proposal, graphic design, podcast editing, or other impossible work task, then check out this blog post and let me help you, fellow doldrums haver.

Instagram Ponderings