Sometimes motivation doesn’t work

I read something about this last week. If you’re always waiting for motivation to do something, then there’s a good chance you’re not actually going to get around to doing it. Motivation can be and often is fleeting – if you only do what you need to do when you’re motivated, you might find you don’t do much at all.

Like many others on the autism spectrum, I have difficulties with executive dysfunction and I’m prone to perseverating on a particular area (particularly my special interests). This does not lend itself well to getting things done. So I have a number of visual supports and strategies that keep me focused and on-task. I use apps (I’ll talk about some in later posts) to keep track of things I need to do on various days and my partner uses a SCERTS based task board to let me know what household tasks need doing. I then have a reminder on my phone that directs me to take these tasks and break them into mini-goals. The mini-goals then go on my whiteboard right above my computer, where I’m most likely to see them and be reminded:

IMG_20160827_094652

Next to it (the red thing) is a timer – set to 5 minutes at the moment but usually set to 10 minutes. That keeps me on track. I can play games or read or do whatever it is I actually want to do – but when the beeper goes off, I have to choose something from the mini-goals list and do it. This works really well for me, especially when I am struggling to find the motivation to finish off my university essay. It keeps me focused and going back and working on it.

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