As someone with aspergers I have difficulty with executive functioning. Executive functioning lets people plan, organise and complete tasks. The things I struggle most with are losing things, remembering appointments and important dates such as birthdays, and getting jobs done. I find keeping on top of my commitment to the children, my home and my work very challenging.
Since I’ve struggled with these things all my life I’ve developed systems to help me keep on top of everything. These systems mean that I’m organised and also that my stress levels are reduced because I’m not anxious about keeping on top of everything.
My systems work for me, because I developed them based on my personal difficulties. My suggestion would be to develop a system based on what feels intuitively useful for you. So I’m going to offer some advice based on what I do but would recommend using these ideas a framework for a more personalised system.
Aspergers and organisation:
Life involves lots of different elements. For me it’s the children, their schooling, social lives and care. Then my home, cleaning, cooking and maintenance, our finances and my blog.
The first thing to do is to identify what you are responsible for. It could be work, children, pets, hobbies, event planning etc. Write a list of all the areas you are responsible for in your day to day life.
Next up is list writing. One long to do list intimidates and confuses me. So I create a to do list for each area that I am responsible for. For example;
Children: school runs, homework, healthcare (baths, teeth cleaning etc), out of school activities.
Blog: writing posts, promoting posts, building social following, maintenance.
Finances: budgetting, paying bills, benefits
If you do this for each of the areas of your life then it makes planning much easier.
After this I wrote myself a weekly timetable including each days schedule and essential jobs. Something like this
Monday: school runs 8.30 and 3/Violin practise eldest child/clean the hob/Kids homework
Tues: school runs 8.30 and 3/Violin practise/help at school 1.30-3.15/gymnastics younger children 5.10-6/put away clean laundry
I do this for the entire week. You could make a timetable that goes on the wall, or on your phone. Whatever feels helpful.
Next I have a list of jobs that need to be done every day written on a list next to my weekly timetable, for me it’s;
Cooking lunch and tea/hoover/take vitamins/middle child inhaler/laundry
Finally I have a to do list, which I add to as things come up. It is important to add things to this as soon as they come up, before I forget them, so I do this list on my phone. Like this;
Make costume for school play/make dentist appointment/birthday card for aunt/buy new school shoes/sew on swimming badges/reply to birthday party invite/permission slip for school trip
So that’s one list of every day tasks, a weekly timetable and a to do list.
Finally each morning I organise my day based on my weekly timetable and lists. I have a notepad and I write my schedule, and my jobs for the day. Allocating less jobs on busy days, and keeping my plan realistic based on time available. I keep it on my kitchen worktop and refer to it regularly. It looks like this;
8.45-3.15 children at school
9-9.30 meeting with eldest child’s teacher
11-11.30 Doctors appointment
Cook lunch and dinner / hoover/take vitamins/inhaler/laundry/violin practise/clean the hob/kids homework/sew on swim badges
So as you can see I then have a very clear plan for the day. I tick things off as they are done and I feel in control.
Using this system I feel in control of my life, and responsibilities and this helps calm the anxiety that us aspies live with near constantly. I hope it was helpful.