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How chaotic is your life? Schedules, routines, plans, goals...

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by epath13, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

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    I've always had a hard time following schedules, complex directions, lists etc but recognized their importance. I've heard and read before that it's often necessary to teach children on the spectrum to use organization tools to make their life easier in the future. I've also read, that it's important to teach kids to keep a journal. I think any person would benefit from those tools but specifically the ones with Aspergers or ASD. I've learned some of it but every day living could still be a struggle for me. Life is pretty much a chaos for me. I'm trying to change it now, because I do want to establish goals and be able to achieve them...
    Did any of you learned to stick to a schedule as a child or maybe as an adult?
    Did anyone became obsessed with routines?
    Does anyone still live in chaos?
    Or maybe there're people for whom it is not a problem at all?

    Maybe it is possible to find a rhythm in the chaos and follow it... :) if there's anyone who knows what I mean here - how do you find that rhythm?
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  2. Billi

    Billi Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm working on it. Right now I pretty much am terrible at it, but i do believe it's something I need to do. I need to get organized, starting with having my work clothes and all my stuff ready in the morning. sometimes it seems like every morning is a battle: find the keys, did I pack pants, what am I taking for lunch. Then I need to structure my time better, both at work and at home. At work I have tasks I need to do each day and each week and sometimes Friday comes and I realize I haven't done them. I don't have anyone checking up on me, and missing things once in a while are really no big deal, but if problems were to occur, and anybody checked my time sheets they would see I never did them. At home I have the same problems, but my partner is super schedule oriented. He likes everything to be done at a certain time each day, dinner at 6, shower at 7:30, TV at 8pm, desert at 9, bed at 10. I used to eat when I was hungry, sleep when I was tired and watch TV when, Oh wait, I didn't have a TV. My big problems with sticking with a schedule is that I hyperfocus on things, and loose track of time. I can't even come close to how much time elapses with out watching a clock.
    The good moves I have done is to start using Google calendar to schedule all my bike related activities, the odd evening shift I have to work, appointments, etc... Then I can access that from my phone no matter where I am. Plus I can use the GPS to make sure I get where I need to be, since I am so bad at direction when driving.
    I do think a Journal is a good idea, I used to do one. I'm also thinking of doing one at work, since often I can't remember what I did the day before or what my boss said about a long term project. Plus it would give me a place to keep work related thoughts to bring up with my boss later, as well as all the scraps of paper I write down stuff on that I have to look up for him, and then he loses.
    The other big schedule item I need to work on is when I sleep, I am so bad about saying I'll go to bed in a few minutes, but stay up till 2am, and have to get up at 5am.
     
  3. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

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    You sound so much like me :)
    I also use GPS, can't imagine my life without it. I have GPS in the car plus on my phone and sometimes if I need to go to a new place , I google it and look for some clues (like easy to remember buildings, special signs etc) so I know exactly where I'm going.
    And I do have to remind myself to go to sleep on time. My 5 minutes can easily turn into 5 hours :) that's why schedule could be good in that case. It seems when it says in my schedule that I have to go to bed, let say at midnight, I respond better to that. But it is necessary to commit to the schedule and accept it's importance....
    Another thing, I do think it could be very annoying when somebody constantly reminds you that you have to do this now and that then etc, but it actually could be very helpful to have a person who keeps you on track. Maybe we all need personal assistants :) I know I would love to have one, if I could afford it :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
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  4. LgndKllr24

    LgndKllr24 Well-Known Member

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    My life really isn't very chaotic at all. I'm a very big schedule type person and I really hate change. I get that anxiety they talk about Aspies having when things are different. I eat my lunch at work around the same time every day, and take my breaks around the same time, even though I don't really have to. I eat my lunch in the same place, and I go for a walk on the same path every day on my breaks. I start work the same time, and leave the same time. I eat pretty much the same types of things all the time, and I almost always go to bed around the same time. If I'm even a few minutes later than usual on something, it begins to bother me. I really like things to be predictable, and I think my life is kind of set up around that.
     
  5. Billi

    Billi Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Tomorrow I am taking a notebook to work to keep a journal of what I do there. I am going to do the same thing at home, but on my computer. I GPS and Google maps the hell out of stuff, I often will look at where I have to go on street view. Sleep is the main thing I need to work on right now, I have been living on 3-4 hrs for a few weeks. I stay up late sometimes because that is the only time the house is quiet and I can think. I have been a late night person even as a child. I do know I funtion much better and am happier when I get 6-7hrs of sleep a night. I think my lack of sleep has negatively affected my performance in bike racing, and I'm unwilling to train so hard to have something stupid like that mess me up.
     
  6. King_Oni

    King_Oni Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    One of the main reasons therapists in the past (and currently) can't put a clear label on me is because I can't work that well with routines and schedules. I don't have an agenda of sorts, I don't write down appointments, I live in a pretty big mess, however... that my way of organizing. Believe I actually wrote this in another topic, but for most part in my rooms I can actually pinpoint stuff and tell you since when something is there, why it is there and probably, where it was before. That's why I can't handle with people "cleaning" up.

    I never show up late on appointments though I don't keep track of those on paper. I read a date once and it's imprinted, way past the expiration date, so to say. I still know that I was at my GP's office at 9:20 am on february 23th.. and that's been about 10 months ago. I also know that roughly 5:45 pm on april 18th 2009, I broke up with my long term girlfriend, and that we had our first kiss at roughly 4:30 in the morning in the night of september 30th/october 1st in 2000. Stupid dates. Weirdly enough I have a good sense of time. I rarely use clocks, but I can estimate time pretty well most of the time.

    There are some instances where I actually take out paper and make diagrams, but those are usually to improve workflow on projects I'm working on. More of a visual aid to see progress on what I'm doing. Sometimes I grab a note to do some quite calculations, but that's about it. However, I have a writing block within reach usually. Sometimes it helps me to scribble down a thought, just to make it not "get lost"... once scribbled I could discard the note.

    I should add that the only chaos in life is me. I try to exlude anything out of the equation. I either want perpetual chaos by others or perpetual chaos by me... that's some kind of "schedule" I guess. People hopping in and out get me mental. That's why busses that come late annoy me though. I'm fine with leaving way ahead just in case the bus shows up early (or late, or not at all), but do not make timetables, because in fact, the more structure you put down in something, the more obvious the mess and chaos becomes. Maybe I'm just totally blunt when it comes to "chaos" and is it that I just can't deal with "life" and the randomness of it. Wouldn't be to far fetched, but I do know that people have a hard time keeping up with me because I actually come across as quite organized when they talk to me, look like a "mess" if they judge on looks or how I live... and have no clue how I manage this kind of stuff.

    I read about the GPS... I've heard that before. My aspie friend is a disaster when it comes to navigation. I am good at it... really good. There's this funny anekdote about me as a 2 year old backtracking home... that kinda stumped my parents. Usually when I'm going somewhere I take a look of the map (or recently sometimes google maps & streetview) and remember the weirdest alleys to get from A to B most efficient. That's my blessing I guess... the one time I used a GPS device I got lost, lol. I should say though... I do not drive a car, so I just do my navigation on foot.

    Another thing I noticed is, and I've tried it... if I actually want to save up money, and thus manage my finances in increments of 10, as in "I get 10 bucks out of the ATM for groceries, etc." Because 10 is the last I can withdraw, I am bad at it. However if I just pay my stuff with my card at the supermarket, and don't care for the "increments" I am more efficient... the obvious one would be "if you need 5 bucks for groceries you have 5 bucks left, thus no wonder it's easier electronically"... but usually I head to the bank and deposit cash I have left. But in general increments don't work for me paying stuff up to the cent specific works better for me. The only thing that kinda bothers me here is when I go to a bar/pub... I'd kill for them to have some kind of digital payment option (which is not a chip in your skin). Coupons/chips at a bar usually don't work with me either, because I'm always counting the amount of drinks I can have, instead of just having cash and seeing what my money gets me.

    Current theory is that for a big part (and this is what my therapist told me as he think I am on the spectrum and have ADD) my ADD makes me manage the chaos very well rather than getting an anxiety attack because I need structure. So all in all, for what it's worth, this is how I roll best.
     
  7. HelloDizzy

    HelloDizzy Bed-Cookie V.I.P Member

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    My life is chaotic due to forces outside of my control, and it has always been this way. Hopefully once I start college again (as if it's not chaotic enough just getting registered) and I have a daily schedule other than "wake up, weigh self, research, write/edit, research, research, research, maybe eat, sleep by 11" I will be better off.
    If I'm not productive, I panic.

    And, one day, hopefully by summer if my boyfriend gets a job, I won't be living in this too-religious house where I get yelled at for owning an angel statue. Jewish Orthodoxy offers a lot of "structure" but also a lot of "suffocation."
     
  8. epath13

    epath13 the Fool.The Magician.The... V.I.P Member

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    You're one lucky guy, time for me seem meaningless, I don't have a sense of time or it's very poor. That's why I usually give myself more time, than I think I would need, plan getting ready for an appointment not just an appointment etc. As for dates, don't know why but I have the hardest time remembering them. After every kid's birth it took me 3 years or so to get comfortable with their birthday dates, before that I got confused all the time. I don't even understand why. It's sort of like numbers get all scrambled in my mind. That's why when I did math I perceived numbers as quantities, sort of shapes of different size with a tag attached to it. And if a number was attached to speed or let's say temperature. I had to had to visualize those rather than numbers themselves. If I see time line, let's say from the year when Jesus supposedly was born as some sort of a balloon filled with water it probably would be easier for me to remember when something taken place by "marking" the distance between the beginning and that date :)
     
  9. fergusonh

    fergusonh Well-Known Member

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    My life is very chaotic! I have twin boys who just turned 7 years old with Asperger's. I am also a nurse. Between work and the number of appointments we have (speech therapy, occupational therapy, doctors, teachers) it seems to go on and on. I do have a wonderful husband that helps me a lot but the everyday grind is soo exausting! I think the worst part though is trying to keep 2 Aspies as content and stress free as possible and try to ward off anything that might cause a meltdown and then if they do have a meltdown deal with them. And all of the sensory issues that come with Aspies are are going to be the death of me!! Thanks for listening to me vent--I feel better already!
     
  10. snurrig

    snurrig Well-Known Member

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    I'm very bad with dates, unless they're appointments directly relating to myself. Since then they'll be in my head on the list of upcoming things to do during the day, week or whenever it is. My schedule changes every week since sometimes I work mornings and sometimes I work nights. Which is fine as long as I know in advance so I can get a clear list in my head of what I'm supposed to be doing. And I'm very rarely late, and if I am, it's never my fault. If you're late you might get told of. Don't want that.

    I like eating the same thing over and over. I mean, if it's nice and healthy, why change it? Makes no sense.
     
  11. kg4fxg

    kg4fxg Well-Known Member

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    Routine

    I tend to live by routine/schedule. Having a job I like helps with that but weekends are more stressful because of lack of routine.

    OK, I don't measure my breakfast or check each lock on the door five times. I don't wash my hands every five minutes nor do sit in the same place at the same restaurant every-time, but it would be nice.

    Get up at 6:15, shave, shower and I only wear black pants and white shirt (Just remember Steve Jobs wore the same outfit all the time). The tie can vary. Make coffee and lunch and I am off to work. The car must be immaculate meaning you can eat off the floor. One speck of dust and I have to clean it. I hate to stop at the dry cleaners or gas station because it breaks the routine. I have only three spaces I like to park in at the parking deck. Work is fine and I can close my door anytime.

    OK, I am weird and you all will probably kick me off the forum.

    BTW - College was stressful, not being able to sit in the same seat. Part-time jobs are stressful because hours always changed or you were called to work at the last minute. I don't encounter many crowds on the way to work so it is pretty good.

    Bill