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How to "fight" executive dysfunction?

Discussion in 'Autism Science Discussions' started by Lastbutnotleast, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. Lastbutnotleast

    Lastbutnotleast New Member

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    Hi, all my life, I have had a hard time completing household chores one by one. I would jump from one to another every few minutes. Needless to say, things get done at a slower pace. In addition, I've noticed that whenever I'm doing chores, my thoughts are spinning and that's when I get flashbacks about bad memories. How can I improve? Do you guys have this type of issue too?
     
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  2. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I do find it hard to prioritize when I have several chores that need doing, and I need to make a conscious effort to stick with one task before moving on to the next. Actually, I can't multitask to save my life. I'm hopeless when I have two or more things on the go at once. Cooking is often a disaster because I'm not going to wait around while something is cooking - I get started on somethijng else and become so absorbed that I forget that pizza I had in the oven and only remember it when the smell of burnt pizza comes wafting through the house...
     
  3. elements

    elements Active Member

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    Think this is a universally human trait as the wondering mind apparently helps with creativity, coming up with new ideas, and finding solutions, in contrast to the focused mind. Finding tasks for the mind to play with when this happens such as a new concept, problem, or interest for the mind to chew on. Perhaps later on you then could work on the negative thoughts and whats driving them, maybe some beliefs system? or working through old memories ?
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Become organized over much of your life- even for the most benign things. Don't be afraid to "script your life" rather than just your conversations:

    1. Have a plan.
    2. Write it down- in whole or in part, whatever it may entail.

    This way if you lose your train of thought for whatever reason, you always have a point of reference- both in writing and in your own words. When things become overwhelming, it's nice to have a "cheat-sheet".
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
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  5. OlLiE

    OlLiE Well-Known Member

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    if i have multiple tasks to do and i try to do them at the same time, the complexity bogs me down and i lose motivation because the cumulation of tasks seems too overwhelming

    so i priorities them and the do them one by one, that way i at least feel like i have achieved something
     
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  6. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    One thing that sometimes works for me is writing a single chore on a post-it and draw a check box next to it. The efficiency of this method depends entirely on how I feel about checking boxes that day.

    Another is to use one task to postpone another. This one requires some mental gymnastics, since you are basically tricking yourself. If you try to postpone vacuuming (that horrid sound) with laundry, you might find yourself postponing the laundry with something else entirely.

    A third is "killing time" (though I prefer the phrase "offing time") such as unloading the dishwasher while the rice cooks because of how boring it is to watch rice cook.
     
  7. sneaky snek

    sneaky snek New Member

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    Today I picked up a bunch of trash and washed all the dishes. I never do that. It could've been the caffeine. I swear it has different effects on different days. The best way I've found to get things done is to wait until the last minute and do it in stress mode, so that's not exactly great.
     
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  8. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I think it helps to write a 'things to do' list and tick them off one by one as you do them... you also get a good feeling of accomplishment as you tick them off.
     
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  9. Bella Pines

    Bella Pines Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, except replace household chores with "everything". From cleaning bathrooms, washing, getting myself dressed, work, shopping, everything.

    My most productive coping mechanisms include:

    • Don't fight it. Your brain works in a certain way and if you fight that it will be an uphill struggle. So when I have repetitive office work or finances to do, I actually do 3-5 things simultaneously and jump between all of them until they are all done. If I do less than 3 then my mind wonders and I leave the tasks unfinished, if I do more than 5 then it takes too long and I leave all of them unfinished. If I have say 5 tasks open at the same time it works well, I need to start them all at the same time, jump between them when my mind starts to wonder and continue until ALL OF THEM are finished.
    • Let your mind wonder in a controlled manner. When I have a single task (like vacuuming the house), I put my headphones on and choose a song that I put a story to, then I let my mind wonder and replay that song with the story over and over until the hoovering is complete. By select a specific song and allowing a comfortable story to play out, my mind wonders to a good place.
    • Use google keep or a magnetic fridge chore board. I have a well maintain list of "short term" and "long term" tasks. They include everything that neurotypicals take for granted, like 'buy milk' or 'brush teeth', and then bigger things like 'renew passport' or 'watch adobe indesign tutorial'. Whenever I have free time I select between 1 and 5 tasks to work on depending on my mood and the amount of time I have. This way things actually get done.
    • Self motivation. I'll set myself rewards. For example, I have a stack of household chores to do like "alter my son's trousers for school", "washing", "empty dishwasher", "request inhalers". So I'll pick the tasks, apply the above process until all are complete and then have a coffee or read my book as a reward.
    Let me know what other tips you have as well, always open to new ways to perform basic repetitive activities, I've struggled with this my entire life.
     
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  10. Ang

    Ang Member

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    Im gonna be blunt. There is no way to cure this, only mechanisms to cope.

    Carry around a little notebook. It doesent necessarily look weird in a work setting, but professional. If you are in your house who cares because no one beside family will see you..

    What I do is create a journal/checklist/guide which serves as the extension to my working memeory.

    Every observation, Every blunder I have, I write it in this book. I then reread what I wrote , so that I easily learn from my mistakes. I'm almost normal now.. almost .

    To be honest its not *that obsessive in that its every blunder written, just the ones i deem important.. for example I literally write " you fked up today because you forgot to call one of your guys to come into work, and you were stuck doing the struck with one person, check three times next time you write a schedule".... or "you forgot to tell someone to check the frozen truck in on the computer when it pops up, next time leave a note for them". Well, the next day i reread the notes, and the following day also.. and then what I want to learn translates into my long term memory and then its all good from there. I also make checklists for everyday , which have some of the same basic stuff, plus added in whatever i read from the notes id taken the previous days.. no more repeating the same mistakes.. i still have trouble with attention as one task voids out another, but the list helps convert things to habit like its supposed to in people with good working memeory..I'm not gonna say it solved my problems, just helped. Seemingly random tho.....cutting out all gluten helped so damn much.. like a new person..
     
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  11. Mary Anne

    Mary Anne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I draw out visual maps of complex tasks. I also write lists on paper and in phone. I break down complexity into multiple steps. I really have huge executive function problems and it’s disabling. I have lost lucrative careers due to it, and my home is a mess due to it also.