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Difficulty with switching tasks

decadentcupcake

New Member
Hi, it has been a really long time since I posted the first time on this forum. I've been wanting to do that multiple times, but somehow, reaching out feels extremely hard. It's as if there's an invincible wall in front of me preventing me from doing it. Having to start and switch tasks feels a little similar.

What kind of things help you?

I want to stick to a routine and I like doing the same things at around the same times, but it takes very long for me to switch between tasks, so I struggle following it. This in turn upsets me and causes me anxiety.
 

kriss72

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Remember to add time for task switching to your plans, don't try to force it, also it helps me to be prepared, so no sudden change of plans. I don't know what kind of task switching you struggle with, if it is sub-tasks of a greater task, og switching between minor tasks.

For the minor task switching it helps me to clap my hands either together or on my legs. For the bigger ones I need some me time, like sit for a few minutes or 20 if the previous task was draining.
 

tree

Blue/Green
Staff member
V.I.P Member
What I have been curious about is how many other people
find 'switching tasks' (like getting up from computer work, or
looking away from a book, or craft work, or sewing with a machine)
to be a wrenching experience?

On the *I was happily immersed in what I was doing and NOW!?!
ugh. Different. Not same. Shudder.* side. Very disorienting.
Unpleasant.

A couple of my friends mistakenly say that I am 'patient'
because I can work (play?) at an activity that wouldn't hold
their interest for any length of time.

I try to get across to them that I am not thinking of myself as
being 'patient.' What I do know is that by continuing with the
same activity I don't have to experience that bad feeling of----
*Not same. Other. Wrong. ugh.....*
 

Misty Avich

I prefer not to be referred to as autistic
V.I.P Member
I get easily distracted, so I find it difficult to stay on task. Even when I'm engrossing myself in my art projects with my audiobooks playing on my headphones, I still keep getting up to do something random, then I return to it again like a couple of minutes later.
 

Ken

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I have struggled with that all my life. Never understood it or why I have such a problem. Now I know that is not uncommon with autistic's.

I call that being "derailed". My mind works linearly and sequentially, like a train on a track. I simply can't think any other way. Any interruption "derails" me and then I have to pause to process what I was doing in my mind back to the point of "derailment" before I can continue.

I guess the pause my only method of recovery.
 

Rodafina

Hopefully Human
Staff member
V.I.P Member
It's all about transition time for me.

First, I consider changing tasks.
(a few minutes pass)

Then, consider it more seriously, without stopping what I am doing.
(a few more minutes pass)

Then, I tell my brain, "time's up."
(a few more minutes pass)

Finally, I get to a satisfying switching point and then I must wrap up and tidy up the last activity and then I can move on to the next thing.

If this doesn't happen, it is very unpleasant and disorienting - especially the wrapping up and tidying up step. Even leaving a task to use the ladies' room requires this process.
 

marc_101

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I think there are two different issues. One is abandoning a task -- like watching tv, video game, reading a book. The other is starting a task. Both can be difficult. Starting a task takes effort.

Schedules help. Setting time for specific tasks at a specific time, and perhaps trying to understand why you either find it difficult to stop or to start something. A transition time can help too.
 

Jumpinbare

Aspie Naturist and retired Absent-minded Professor
V.I.P Member
What I have been curious about is how many other people
find 'switching tasks' (like getting up from computer work, or
looking away from a book, or craft work, or sewing with a machine)
to be a wrenching experience?

On the *I was happily immersed in what I was doing and NOW!?!
ugh. Different. Not same. Shudder.* side. Very disorienting.
Unpleasant.

A couple of my friends mistakenly say that I am 'patient'
because I can work (play?) at an activity that wouldn't hold
their interest for any length of time.

I try to get across to them that I am not thinking of myself as
being 'patient.' What I do know is that by continuing with the
same activity I don't have to experience that bad feeling of----
*Not same. Other. Wrong. ugh.....*
I can't idle. I always have to  do something. Waiting at redlights, I am catching up on texts, voicemails, or even checking emails until it turns green.
The practical fallout of that, is that if I'm awake, I am busy with something. So pretty much any time someone calls, or texts, or physically approaches me with a question, comment, or request, they are interrupting me! I really try hard not to show my anger at being interrupted, but after the second or third time of being interrupted on a task or project, people start apologizing when I answer them so I guess my anger mask slips anyway.
Today, I was in the middle of a project and had to stop and drive 20 miles round trip for one item. While driving, I realized the above (that I hate breaking away from something till it's  done).
 

Tom

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I think I use a tea/water break as punctuation to life. Duing the break I relax a bit and think about something pleasant and when done am able to shift into a new task.
 

jason8682

New Member
What I have been curious about is how many other people
find 'switching tasks' (like getting up from computer work, or
looking away from a book, or craft work, or sewing with a machine)
to be a wrenching experience?

On the *I was happily immersed in what I was doing and NOW!?!
ugh. Different. Not same. Shudder.* side. Very disorienting.
Unpleasant.

A couple of my friends mistakenly say that I am 'patient'
because I can work (play?) at an activity that wouldn't hold
their interest for any length of time.

I try to get across to them that I am not thinking of myself as
being 'patient.' What I do know is that by continuing with the
same activity I don't have to experience that bad feeling of----
*Not same. Other. Wrong. ugh.....*
So i am doing a degree in computer science. Since i learned to program about 5 years ago, i have had an ongoing project of creating a chess game in java. As i progressed in my studies i wanted to add a comouter opponent. But how i went about my chess engine was slow and sub optimal for move generation. So ive re gutted it out and im moving from linear search algorythms to a bit board based implementation which is way faster and ive just finished it now. So im majoring in AI and want to go on to research machine consciousness. The final project of my degree, you need to showcase some concept in your major modules. So i have a chess game with a semi functional old style (not neural network) computer opponent. And for the project i will write and interface a proper neural network to it
, maybe a monte carlo tree search too (dont worry if you dont get the technical aspects, thats not the point just cant not explain myself lol). So conceptually the chess game is important to my studdies. But i just can not put it down...even to study. Im just starting a new module and i need to start peeling myself away from it for a while. But im struggling lol.
 

jason8682

New Member
Its like...it needs to be at the stage where i can just add an ai in my final year. But completing it is getting in the way of my studies lol. I will sit down and do it. But yea. it is hard to put it down.
 

WhitewaterWoman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I also have trouble switching tasks. This is complicated by brain fog which starts to take over after a certain amount of time.

I am trying to learn to recognize when brain fog arises and stop the task and do something else for a while.

I’m having moderate success.
 

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