I watched the following video recently and wanted to add some comments from my own experience.
When I was a child I sometimes went to the grocery store with my grandmother. She wanted to be nice and asked me: "Would you like me to buy anything for you? What would you like?"
I never chose anything. There were just too many options to consider, too many items to pick from. The thought of having to decide was worse than not getting any sort of candy or whatever and I always said that I didn't want anything.
This kind of problem also applies to other situations for me until nowadays.
For example, I usually order the same menu in a specific restaurant every time. This way I only have to make a decision once when I'm there for the first time. If I like what I have chosen, I'll just order the same the next time.
I often look up a new restaurant on the internet before going there for the first time and have a look at their menu beforehand. This helps me to narrow things down. Otherwise, it would take me even longer to decide when I'm actually there. I'm often the last one to be ready for ordering in a new restaurant anyway.
One has to keep in mind that the menu posted on the internet isn't always completely accurate though, at least from my experience. Only recently I had chosen something from the menu as it was shown on the restaurant's site, but then it wasn't on the actual menu. I guess they didn't update their site and the meal I had chosen was only cooked during a special seasonal event or something like this. I had an alternative in mind though, which was available.
I agree with the person in the video about how routines help with doing things like cleaning the kitchen.
I have routines for a lot of chores, but also other tasks. As he says it can be difficult to begin cleaning in the first place if there are so many options. But if I have a routine for cleaning the kitchen, I won't need to overthink it again and again.
I also tend to cook the same few dishes all the time. Cooking includes many steps that have to be planned and done at the correct time, so that everything works out at the end as intended. Trying new recipes is quite exhausting for me for the reasons he mentioned in the cooking example.
There are some more examples and explanations about executive function in the original Ask an Autistic video and I recommend to watch it too:
At the end I'd like to focus on an aspect that is covered in more detail in the Ask an Autistic video, but not too much in the response video: That problems with executive function can be seen as laziness or not wanting do do something.
It's not actually the same though and I think the following quote from the response video is related to this aspect too:
"I wanna do something and I just can't do anything and finding out what I want to do is even a huge struggle because I still need to filter through these lists of a thousand of things that I might want to do to find the one thing that I do want to do and then act on it [...]."
It is even about things I want to do, things that should be fun and not just "I'm too lazy to clean the kitchen.".
I'm currently struggling with this in relation to my main interest, Sherlock Holmes, though it got better with the strategies I'll explain below.
It doesn't seem like much at the beginning; it's only one character. But he is quite famous and so there are a lot of adaptions.
My interest had started with the BBC show Sherlock. Afterwards I read the complete canon to understand the references.
This was all still managable. There aren't too many episodes of the show and it is obvious where to start and what's next, just like it is with the canon, which I read in the order of publication.
After I had finished the canon I wanted to broaden my horizion, partly because I read that Sherlock doesn't only include canon references but also references to other earlier adaptions.
That's where my problems really began. Where should I even start? There are hundreds of episodes, movies etc.
Should I start with the ones that were pointed out as obvious references, such as The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes? Should I start with an adaption that is well-known and often recommened, for example the Granada series with Jeremy Brett? But what's about more cross-references in some of these adaptions? I mean, it could be possible that others did the same like the producers of Sherlock before and so I would have to need to figure out these references as well.
This last aspect lead to my final approach of managing the huge amount of available data. I am going forward in a rather chronological order now.
I found a great list that gives me something to work with without being overwhelmed by the amount of possible choices. Following the list narrows everything down.
From time to time I'm not sure if this actually the best approach and I get distracted, but being distracted by reading more about my interests is better than not being able to start with anything in the first place.
Though task switching and transitions can be problems related to executive dysfunction as well, which makes stopping again once I have started difficult if there's no specific end for something I'm doing.
That's why I plan tasks with a specific end before open-ended ones. It'll save me from even more problems if I know that I have finished cleaning the kitchen (a known routine with specific tasks to be finished one after another until I have done everything) before sitting down and researching an interest on the internet for an unspecific amount of time.
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