Executive dysfunction life hack

star-anise:

roachpatrol:

jumpingjacktrash:

the-rain-monster:

naamahdarling:

lenyberry:

star-anise:

feathersmoons:

star-anise:

feathersmoons:

star-anise:

lemonsharks:

star-anise:

Instead of telling yourself, “I should get up,” or “I should do this,”

Ask yourself, “When will I get up?” or “When will I be ready to do this?”

Instead of trying to order yourself to feel the signal to do something, which your brain is manifestly bad at, listen to yourself with compassionate curiosity and be ready to receive the signal to move when it comes.

Things I did not actually realize was an option

What’s amazing is what happens when you do this with children.  I hit on it when working at the foster home, where nearly all our kids were on the autism spectrum, and they weren’t “defiant” around me because I said things like, “How long do you need to stand here before we can move?” and “Come into the kitchen when you’re ready” instead of saying, “Stop staring out the window, let’s go,” or “Come eat dinner,” and interpreting hesitation as refusal to obey.

I have also definitely found that doing the “okay when I finish counting down from twenty is getting up time” has been useful.

Yup, that’s way better for toddlers and younger kids.  It helps when they don’t have the self-awareness, attention span, or concept of the passage of time to estimate when they’ll be ready by themselves.

Oh I meant for me. XD Saying it to myself.

WELL OKAY WHOOPS XD I should not have been overspecific, I was just thinking about teaching this stuff to the parents at my job and your reblog made me immediately think of you with Banana and the kidlets.

Another hack: when you want to get up but are stalled by your brain and frustrated – stop. Breathe. Think about what you want to do once you’re up, without thinking about getting up. Treat it like a fantasy, no pressure, just thinking about something you’d like to do in the future. Instead of thinking “I should get up” over and over, think about having a bagel for breakfast, or getting dressed in your soft green sweater. Imagine yourself doing the thing.

I find that exercise often side-steps the block and the next thing I know I’m out of bed and on my way to doing the other thing I thought about.

Works for other things too, if you’re stuck on one step and having a hard time doing it, think about the step after that. Need to do laundry and you can’t get yourself to gather up your dirty clothes in the hamper? Think instead about carrying the hamper full of dirty clothes to the laundry room. And when you get to that next step, if you get stuck again, think about the step after it – you have a hamper of dirty clothes that needs to be put in the wash, let your subconscious handle the “carry hamper to laundry room” step while you’re thinking about the “putting them in the wash” part.

YMMV of course, and this doesn’t even always work for me (particularly not when I need to do a collection of tasks in no particular order, like packing for a trip… “pack socks, pack underwear, pack toothbrush, pack pants, pack shirts” is the kind of non-linear task list where this trick doesn’t help at all), but it’s something I’ve found helpful often enough.

This is one of the most beautiful threads I’ve seen on Tumblr simply because it deals so compassionately with an issue so many of us have and can barely even articulate to ourselves, let alone to anyone else. ❤

I think I get overwhelmed from the thought of all of the consequent steps, so maybe I’ll do the reverse of the advice above and try to focus on the first one.

@the-rain-monster i was just about to say something similar. that can work too sometimes. instead of going “ugh i need to eat something” for four hours, i try to focus on each step in turn.

and i mean each TINY step. just getting out of my chair has this many steps:

  1. pause music
  2. remove headphones
  3. hang headphones on laptop screen
  4. pick up laptop
  5. leg-bend recliner footrest shut
  6. set laptop aside
  7. stand

and i reckon that’s why i get stuck on it; because i’m trying to treat it as one thing, while executive dysfunction is treating it as seven things, and choking on trying to skip to step seven.

concurrent with this is a method i call ‘junebugging’. which is where i go to the location of the thing i want to do, and just sort of bump around the region like a big stupid beetle until the thing somehow accidentally magically gets done. this is an attempt to leverage ADHD into an advantage; i may not have the executive function to make myself a sandwich on purpose, but if i fidget in the kitchen long enough, some kind of food is going to end up in my mouth eventually. and hell, even if i fail on that front, i will probably have achieved something, even if it’s only pouring all my loose leaf tea into decorative jars.*

@star-anise please may i give you an internet hug *hug!* because god how i wish anyone had known to do that for me when i was a kid. my childhood was one big overload, and like 99% of the huge dramatic meltdowns that made me the scapegoat/laughingstock/target of my entire elementary school were simply due to people not giving me time to process the next step, and interpreting a bluescreen as defiance/insult.

*this happened when i was trying to do dishes actually but the principle is sound

yeah i absolutely echo what j’s saying about the steps, it’s a lot like that for me too. i get overwhelmed at the prospect of something that should be simple, and have to slow down and sort out how many steps it’s actually going to take, and what a complicated endeavor it actually is, even if no one else thinks so. 

also, i thought i should put in: try to honestly figure out what you’re averse to, that makes things so tough. making a whole bunch of decisions really fast? the potential of things to make a horrible noise? the shame of failure? having to put down what you’re doing now? having to clean up whatever it is you might go do when you’re done?

for instance, for me, the difficulty rating on anything goes waaaay up when a step of a task is ‘go somewhere people will look at you,’ which is for me about the unpleasantness equivalent of ‘jump into a very cold swimming pool right now’. you know you’ll be fine and even have fun once you’ve settled into it, but it still takes a lot of shuffling around and bracing yourself first to go for it. and some days you just don’t fucking want to go swimming.

i discounted this factor for years because i wouldn’t admit that i was so daunted by something so silly as as people looking at me. but, now i know what i’m so aversive about, i can factor it in to plans, and work around it, and be kind to myself. for instance, i was never able to get fit since highschool PE, because i couldn’t make myself go to a gym, or even out jogging. once i figured out the big problem wasn’t avoidance pain or difficulty, it was avoidance of doing a New Thing that i was Bad At in front of Unknown Quantities Of Strangers, which is like a triple threat of stressors, i started working out quietly and safely in my room at night, and i’ve been doing really good on it! 

Absolutely loving the tag #you don’t make a broken car work by yelling ALL THE OTHER CARS WORK FINE

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Organizational Tips for AD/H People + the Executive Dysfunctioning (and anyone else!)

adhdronanlynch:

As a preface to this post, a couple things should be noted: I am definitely NOT the most organized, well-put-together, or successful person. I struggle with a lot of things, and a LOT of coping mechanisms are necessary to make up for that. However, some of the systems I’ve been forced to come up with because of my difficulty do help, and lately, I’ve thought I might share some of these tips with others who have some of the same problems. 

One of the biggest difficulties I have with keeping track of my life is memory. I can’t remember anything I’m doing for jack shit, if you’ll pardon my French. I can remind myself a thousand times, but there is no way I’ll remember anything I’m supposed to be doing or thinking of unless it’s right there in front of me, in big black letters. 

So, one of the most helpful things I’ve ever done for myself is: put it right there in front of me, in big black letters!

Basically, one of the best tips I can give anyone who struggles with remembering things is to quite literally put it right in front of your face. How do I do this? It’s a combination of Post-It notes, taped-up papers, and, my personal favorite, WHITE-BOARDS. (I am not kidding. White boards are a literal savior. Why are white boards so great, you ask? Because they’re stark, easy to write on, completely simple to alter or erase and change, come in all different sizes and shapes, and aren’t problematic to hang.) 

Read on for some examples of my organizational solutions for an ADHD-er or Executive Dysfunction-er’s home.

Keep reading

Executive dysfunction life hack

jumpingjacktrash:

the-rain-monster:

naamahdarling:

lenyberry:

star-anise:

feathersmoons:

star-anise:

feathersmoons:

star-anise:

lemonsharks:

star-anise:

Instead of telling yourself, “I should get up,” or “I should do this,”

Ask yourself, “When will I get up?” or “When will I be ready to do this?”

Instead of trying to order yourself to feel the signal to do something, which your brain is manifestly bad at, listen to yourself with compassionate curiosity and be ready to receive the signal to move when it comes.

Things I did not actually realize was an option

What’s amazing is what happens when you do this with children.  I hit on it when working at the foster home, where nearly all our kids were on the autism spectrum, and they weren’t “defiant” around me because I said things like, “How long do you need to stand here before we can move?” and “Come into the kitchen when you’re ready” instead of saying, “Stop staring out the window, let’s go,” or “Come eat dinner,” and interpreting hesitation as refusal to obey.

I have also definitely found that doing the “okay when I finish counting down from twenty is getting up time” has been useful.

Yup, that’s way better for toddlers and younger kids.  It helps when they don’t have the self-awareness, attention span, or concept of the passage of time to estimate when they’ll be ready by themselves.

Oh I meant for me. XD Saying it to myself.

WELL OKAY WHOOPS XD I should not have been overspecific, I was just thinking about teaching this stuff to the parents at my job and your reblog made me immediately think of you with Banana and the kidlets.

Another hack: when you want to get up but are stalled by your brain and frustrated – stop. Breathe. Think about what you want to do once you’re up, without thinking about getting up. Treat it like a fantasy, no pressure, just thinking about something you’d like to do in the future. Instead of thinking “I should get up” over and over, think about having a bagel for breakfast, or getting dressed in your soft green sweater. Imagine yourself doing the thing.

I find that exercise often side-steps the block and the next thing I know I’m out of bed and on my way to doing the other thing I thought about.

Works for other things too, if you’re stuck on one step and having a hard time doing it, think about the step after that. Need to do laundry and you can’t get yourself to gather up your dirty clothes in the hamper? Think instead about carrying the hamper full of dirty clothes to the laundry room. And when you get to that next step, if you get stuck again, think about the step after it – you have a hamper of dirty clothes that needs to be put in the wash, let your subconscious handle the “carry hamper to laundry room” step while you’re thinking about the “putting them in the wash” part.

YMMV of course, and this doesn’t even always work for me (particularly not when I need to do a collection of tasks in no particular order, like packing for a trip… “pack socks, pack underwear, pack toothbrush, pack pants, pack shirts” is the kind of non-linear task list where this trick doesn’t help at all), but it’s something I’ve found helpful often enough.

This is one of the most beautiful threads I’ve seen on Tumblr simply because it deals so compassionately with an issue so many of us have and can barely even articulate to ourselves, let alone to anyone else. ❤

I think I get overwhelmed from the thought of all of the consequent steps, so maybe I’ll do the reverse of the advice above and try to focus on the first one.

@the-rain-monster i was just about to say something similar. that can work too sometimes. instead of going “ugh i need to eat something” for four hours, i try to focus on each step in turn.

and i mean each TINY step. just getting out of my chair has this many steps:

  1. pause music
  2. remove headphones
  3. hang headphones on laptop screen
  4. pick up laptop
  5. leg-bend recliner footrest shut
  6. set laptop aside
  7. stand

and i reckon that’s why i get stuck on it; because i’m trying to treat it as one thing, while executive dysfunction is treating it as seven things, and choking on trying to skip to step seven.

concurrent with this is a method i call ‘junebugging’. which is where i go to the location of the thing i want to do, and just sort of bump around the region like a big stupid beetle until the thing somehow accidentally magically gets done. this is an attempt to leverage ADHD into an advantage; i may not have the executive function to make myself a sandwich on purpose, but if i fidget in the kitchen long enough, some kind of food is going to end up in my mouth eventually. and hell, even if i fail on that front, i will probably have achieved something, even if it’s only pouring all my loose leaf tea into decorative jars.*

@star-anise please may i give you an internet hug *hug!* because god how i wish anyone had known to do that for me when i was a kid. my childhood was one big overload, and like 99% of the huge dramatic meltdowns that made me the scapegoat/laughingstock/target of my entire elementary school were simply due to people not giving me time to process the next step, and interpreting a bluescreen as defiance/insult.

*this happened when i was trying to do dishes actually but the principle is sound

executive dysfunction

what you say: go get a glass of water when you’re thirsty
what i hear: recognize your body’s signs of thirst before you’re extremely dehydrated, somehow get up in the middle of your current task before you forget that you’re thirsty, leave your room, walk down the hall, go into the kitchen, find the cupboard, choose a cup, put water in the cup, and go back down to your room. do all of this without forgetting what you’re doing in the middle of the process and without getting distracted, keeping everything in your working memory and not getting stalled between any of the steps. then, smoothly resume the task where you left off (which requires remembering what you were doing before), and sip from the glass periodically until it is gone or you are no longer thirsty (which requires remembering that the water is there and repeatedly interrupting yourself to get a sip, while monitoring your body’s signals). i expect you to do this multiple times every day, automatically, on a fixed schedule that aligns with your body’s needs

(#nope#I thought so too#but what you should hear is ”just carry a bottle of water with you everywhere you go”#do it enough and even at home you’ll find yourself reaching for it as a fidget thing#ADHD tips!!!!! via @thehumantrampoline)

hockpock:

jumpingjacktrash:

vastderp:

the-greatest-genderqueer:

futureresearcheralex:

Thing #1 that frustrates me about ADHD/Executive Dysfunction advice:
“Oh, you have a mental/neurological issue that makes it difficult for you to be organized, follow routines, stick with systems, maintain a schedule, do your work, etc.? Well, what you need to do is GET ORGANIZED! Schedule everything! Find a system and stick with it! Maintain a schedule! Do your work as it comes in!”

It’s like that Allie Brosh comic where her fish are dead, and everyone’s offering to help find them, or advice like “feed them!” Or “make puppets out of them!” And she says, “No, see, that solution is for a different problem than the one I have.”

Yes, I would love to do those things! I have tried to do those things! I am still trying to do those things! But it’s like that post about how you’re going through an invisible obstacle course, and what looks like a block to everyone else seems like a wall to you. Instead of saying, “it’s a block! Go around!” It would be much more useful to hand me a bag of flour so I can see the obstacles for myself and how to get around them.

I keep looking for something I can do. I can’t maintain an agenda- closest I can do is lot appointments into Google Calendar. I can’t use to-do lists- they overwhelm and freak me out and I end up doing less than before. Breaking down a task into a bunch of tiny pieces should work in theory, but again, freaks me out, and I usually end up spending an hour planning and then I never actually do. I can’t set deadlines for myself. Whatever part of the brain allows other people to say, “yes, it’s due on the 29th, but I want to be done on the 25th” just doesn’t work. I can’t make my brain think something needs to be done until the last minute. This is especially bad in classes where everything is due at the end of the semester. I end up doing what I just did, and having to do two whole classes worth of work in two days. Oddly, once that level of desperation kicks in, I’m capable of sitting down and pounding through the material- but for some reason, I can’t tap into that level of focus without a short, urgent, important deadline. Maybe one day I’ll figure it out.

Thing #2 that bugs me about all self help: Don’t wait for motivation! Just do it!

I think my definition of “motivation” is different from the usual. Most people see “motivation” as meaning something like “wanting to do something, looking forward to doing something, doing the thing with energy and happiness because it is the thing you want to do.”

My definition is closer to “having enough willpower to make myself do the thing despite everything in my brain begging me to go watch Netflix instead.” So when people say, “you don’t need motivation!” What I hear is “everyone else seems to have this source of willpower they can eventually learn to tap into that just doesn’t exist for me.” My best technique for doing stuff is having other people make me do it. Which freaks out my social anxiety because then I feel like I’m intruding on their time to make them help me with mine.

The thing is, I’m not lazy. If I were just lazy this would all be easier to cope with. I WANT to be doing things, I WANT to be successful, I WANT to be productive. I even try, really hard, and the effort that exhausts me seems to be so much lower than the typical threshold. But every time I try to be as productive as I want to be, I burn out in a couple days.

I am on the verge of tears because this is everything that frustrates me about my own ADHD. Every word of this reflects my experience.

i’m so bad today i can only read every fifth sentence and it STILL hits me in the gut. well expressed.

my executive dysfunction lately has been so bad i can’t even work on my hobbies. i can’t even stim right. one of my favorite stims is to lay out a textile work in progress and play with the pieces, rearranging them and finishing their edges and doing all the fiddlybits. lately, even though i have a nice clean worktable and my quilt pieces all laid out by color, i have managed to iron a grand total of like… 6 of them. in three days. i like ironing quilt pieces. it’s satisfying to me. but it just… doesn’t seem to be happening.

people who’ve never experienced executive dysfunction seem to think our disability only applies to things that are hard or unfun, and therefore suspect we’re just making excuses not to do stuff we don’t want to do. but it’s not like that. i have trouble doing stuff i enjoy doing. i have trouble doing stuff i have to do to live, like eating. sometimes the stuff i get distracted into doing is less fun than the thing i was trying to do – plenty of times i go to get food and get distracted and fold laundry instead. because folding laundry is a routine, it’s an organizing task, which takes less executive function than making food, which requires making a lot of little decisions and judgement calls based on what’s in the fridge, what dishes are clean, etc.

if you had something wrong with your brain that forced you to fold laundry when you wanted a sandwich, wouldn’t you call that a real disability?

…..well this all sounds painfully, painfully familiar