5 min read

Battling executive function disorder - Part 2

It's the little things in life that are almost impossible to do. [issue 37]
Battling executive function disorder - Part 2

hello friend

I had my first photography commission in a long time last week. A portrait for Grazia magazine. It was a joy to be out working again but of course worrying. I had an idea of having my subjects chat on a park bench but we decided there’s no way of knowing if the park bench is safe. So many ideas for a photo that end in “Oh but no.” It was all good though. We chatted, took photos and walked in a park. A nice afternoon.


autism

Following on from the look at Executive Function Disorder 2 weeks ago here are some tips I found on Twitter. I hope you find them useful. I am still trying to assimilate them all and decide what works for me.

Tips from twitter

…not working daily but weekly in terms of lists. I have tasks that need to be done each week and then what I’d like to do. Setting a day specifically is unhelpful if its a bad EF (executive function) day so I work by week and only put essentials on the must list. So chores that are important e.g. changing bed, washing. Are there for me to know need to be done.  - Sophie Williams
1. Have a number in your head of things that need to come with you when you leave the house. Wallet, keys, coat, hat. Four. Don’t leave your car unless you have four things. Don’t leave the store unless you have four things.

2. Take something with you when you leave the room that doesn’t belong. A dish. A cup. A piece of trash. If you forget why you left the room, at least you can go put the cup in the kitchen.

3. Be gentle. If you are mad you can’t move, take a break from trying.

- @synthwire
I had to put my morning routine on brightly coloured paper on my fridge which is between my bedroom and bathroom so I would see it in the morning and actually think to check the list & try to follow it.

- @buss_patriachy
“it’s actually fine to half-ass it.” like if you can’t clean the whole house but think maybe you could manage vacuuming, then vacuum and see how it goes from there! it’s fine!! - @kitchensprite
assign each day certain assignments, so I could stay on track. Sounds like a good idea until you get behind one day in.  @fish_bagels
I find having multiple cues for a thing helpful. Like I have my phone set to lock me out of apps. But I also got a smart plug for my bedroom lamps. So half hour before my phone locks me out, my lights go out telling me “it’s time to sleep”  - @buss_patriachy
Genuinely, asking people to tell me to do things. It’s okay to ask for direction as an adult. For some reason I can struggle to get the EF to shower, but if I ask my family or text a friend to order me to do it then the EF is coming from the outside and I can manage it - @Somnii4
Habit stacking is the only thing I’ve found which works and it’s limited - but it functions by taking a habit you are good at keeping to (eg. First cup of coffee of the day or taking meds at night) and adding another one to it (eg taking meds then immediately brushing your teeth). Once that’s become a default, you can add a third, but don’t add a ton all at once or you just stop doing the original habit instead. @FionaSnp
“if you start getting confused, stop.” - @Native_Orchid

I hope this helps. It’s given me a few things to think about. Task stacking. Acceptance. Adapting. Maybe I’ll take another look at OmniFocus?  I use Things which is very nice to use and less intense than OmniFocus but maybe I should switch back... Oh I love switching task managers more than doing tasks.


photography

This weekend should have been the 10th anniversary of Pride in Liverpool. I thought it might nice to take a look at some of the people I’ve met over the years photographing the event. Each year I go and try to find interesting people to photograph and get a little quote from.

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“Bob was at the pride event to support friends. He said he's the ‘oldest gay in the world at 86.’” - 2011

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“My wife is my superhero” - 2013

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2013

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2014

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2015

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2015

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Why are you here at Pride? “Opportunity to be a gay man.” - 2017

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A Benedictine Oblate. - 2017

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Here’s a slideshow I produced for the big screen at the Museum of Liverpool that was shown during last year’s Pride event.

support

I have a selection of Icelandic photographic prints for sale with my friends at Dorothy.

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beam out

I’m loving these videos by Becca Farsace at The Verge. tldr; if you want a consistent connection get a cable. Which is exactly what I’ve had to do to properly connect the office to the front room router.

  • Dark Noise 2 – 512 Pixels - I’m using this app to help me sleep. I use over the ear noise cancelling headphones (Sony WH-1000MX2) and currently set Dark Noise to Spaceship. It’s an experiment and the main issue is the big headphones at 3am that wake me up.