Windows of opportunity

I’ve always found new year’s resolutions hard to keep. As many people do, I always have good intentions, but they tend to fall away from mid February. In the past, most of my resolutions have been about trying to be more organised with personal admin/paperwork and working on my time-keeping.  After being formally assessed as dyspraxic * last summer, I’ve now realised that there is a reason for my issues around organisation and time management. Having made it to my early 40s, I (unknowingly) built up strategies for dealing with these issues over the years.  I worked hard to keep these strategies in place, but after my daughter was born 7 years ago, many of my coping strategies went out the window and I had to create several new strategies for even getting out of the house each day! I’ve had to develop further strategies recently, as my stepson moved in on a full-time basis last summer. I can’t believe the amount of washing that a 16 year old creates!! I think t-shirts must breed in his wash bag!

I’ve always been impressed that my husband is so good at getting to places on time. He used to despair at the weekends when we planned to go out as a family and somehow it was midday before we made it into the car! We have recently developed a strategy about agreeing the time that I need to be ready to leave the house and I always need to build in “faffing” time – this is for the random tasks that I deem must be completed before I leave the house. They always seem to take longer than I expect, partly because I can’t calculate time too well and partly because we have a seven year old and a teenager and there’s always something that needs tidying away. All in all, I need a two hour time frame between getting out of bed and leaving the house.  People have said to me, “why not leave these tasks until you return to the house?”, but once I’ve been out for the day and had to concentrate on staying upright and not bump into things, I’m exhausted. All I want to do when  I come home, is to sit down and have a cuppa!

This two hour window of time is required each weekday morning too. I have to work very hard to make it to the office for 09:00.  I know this is easy for most people, but I consider it a personal victory on the days that I do get to my desk, bang on 09:00. I get very frustrated with myself if I’m not on the motorway by 08:41, as it takes seven minutes on the motorway and then 12 minutes, once I get off the motorway, to get to the office (traffic permitting!). On these days, I wonder which task it was that seemed to impact on my timings.  Likewise, when I’m leaving the motorway before 08:48, what was it that made me get to this location earlier than usual?  I really do have difficulty getting my head around where the time goes!

So, here we are at the start of a new year again. This January, knowing that I’m dyspraxic, I’ll continue to work on my organisation and time management, but I’ll be a bit easier on myself when I do fall behind on my plans. I feel good so far, because I’ve already set up a new car insurance policy after 12 years with the old insurance company J. Believe you me, it’s a personal victory that I got through the online forms to even access a new quote! Here’s to new hopes and plans…

Helen

*Dyspraxia is a specific learning difficulty, which can sometimes co-occur with dyslexia.

Neuro-diversity

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2 thoughts on “Windows of opportunity

  1. Honestly it’s not you, it’s the dyspraxia! Keeping track of time is meant to be a ‘natural’ skill but I’m afraid that for neurodiverse people it just isn’t. I set myself increments of time for each task (and add on a spare 10 minutes because often I have to tidy up a mess I’ve accidentally created) and have a quiet little alarm go off (a duck quacking actually) every half hour on busy days just so I can keep track of the passing of time. Going out for me takes 45 and that’s simply the getting washed, dressed and doing very minimal hair and makeup (not even breakfast). I think you are doing really well!

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