Coping Mechanism for Switching Between Tasks?

Page 1 of 1 [ 6 posts ] 

SilentScream
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 7 Dec 2009
Age: 49
Gender: Female
Posts: 405
Location: UK

14 Aug 2011, 5:34 am

I have figured out that one thing that is really holding me back from getting through the day painlessly is the trouble I have with switching to another task.

It's so painful. It's like I have to reach in my brain for something invisible in the dark, HEAVE it out, and then squint at it to get it in focus to see if it's a usable idea for another task.

Then I have to painfully set my mind on doing it.

There has to be another way.


And I can't find the search function for this chatboard, so can't do a search for "Switching tasks". Where is the search facility, please? Thank you.



animalcrackers
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Feb 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,207
Location: Somewhere

14 Aug 2011, 3:32 pm

Sometimes I find it easier to switch gears if I have everything timed/scheduled and if I group related activities together--go from an activity that involves writing to an activity that involves reading, for example....instead of an activity that involves writing to mowing the lawn. (Unfortunately I can't do this with everything.)

I've found that I often need at least 15 minutes to tear myself away from one thing and focus on another successfully, so setting timers for myself helps a bit. I've also told family that I need warnings for changes--as much notice as possible and then a 10-20 minute heads up, if they can manage it.

SilentScream wrote:
And I can't find the search function for this chatboard, so can't do a search for "Switching tasks". Where is the search facility, please? Thank you.


In the upper left-hand corner of the screen, where you see "Inbox | My Account | Log out"--just beneath "Inbox" is the search button for the search function.



SilentScream
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 7 Dec 2009
Age: 49
Gender: Female
Posts: 405
Location: UK

14 Aug 2011, 4:19 pm

Thank you so much! Because it had Google in it, I assumed that it searched Google, not the forums :D



Cormorant
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 3 Dec 2009
Age: 48
Gender: Female
Posts: 22
Location: Rhode Island

14 Aug 2011, 7:56 pm

I find it difficult also. What seems to work for me sometimes is just to start doing the next thing. It is hard to explain - if I start thinking about the next thing to do while I am doing the first I get almost a mental paralysis.
For instance, I can think about cleaning up the kitchen for hours while reading on the internet. But I I jump up without thinking too much and just start doing SOMETHING - say gathering coffee cups, it is easier to get into the flow of the new thing.



BassMan_720
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 5 Nov 2010
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 288
Location: UK

14 Aug 2011, 8:15 pm

I don't have a difficulty switching from one task to another, so long as there is a definite break. Where I do have a difficulty though is interruption of a task. If I have to go back to a task that I am concentrating on, it can take me ages to get myself back into the swing. It is a bit like finding my place on a sequential tape recording rather than accessing a memory location in RAM.



Callista
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 10,775
Location: Ohio, USA

14 Aug 2011, 8:31 pm

Lots of timers... lots of reminders. Give yourself fair warning. And always assume you'll take double the amount of time you think you'll take, because that's about how long things take when you take into account that you won't be able to switch quickly.

If you have the choice, it helps to stick with tasks that have natural stopping points. For example, if you are eating lunch, get yourself a good amount of food on a plate; don't eat from the pot or the bowl, because you might not stop until you are very full, and that would be uncomfortable. The plate gives you a stopping point so you don't just keep eating. Or, if you have three hours of free time and you want to read, choose a short book rather than a long one, so that you will naturally finish the book within three hours. Exercise is good, because a natural stopping point happens when you get tired (unless you are not in touch with your body enough to tell when you're tired, in which case you'll want to set a time limit.) If you're working on a project, ask yourself what would happen if you simply kept on working until you finished--would that mean you stayed up all night? All night and the next day? Plan for that; it can really throw off your sleep schedule. Stay away from things that have no natural stopping point, or which are too easy to re-start when you finish them. I've got a problem with the Internet right now; I'm playing around with programs that will shut off access for the fifteen minutes I need to switch away, but I need a program that'll give me multiple warnings. Otherwise I stay online for hours and don't do what I ought to.


_________________
Reports from a Resident Alien:
http://chaoticidealism.livejournal.com

Autism Memorial:
http://autism-memorial.livejournal.com