Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Occupational Therapy: Time Management Continued

Time management continues.  We have been working on daily planning and scheduling and trying to tailor different schemes to my personal needs.

Online Todolist: Toodledo
Image by yashima via Flickr
We have come up with a task list and have assigned  different to a few days.  This is pretty comfortable for me as I sort of do it kind of on and off in my iPhone with the app, Toodledo.  I
 just go in phases where I follow my Toodledo and phases where I fall off the organizational horse.  Some of my failings are justified as I am too tired from therapy or something important came up.  And some are not.  But, since I am prompted by Wilma, I am trying to pay more attention to planning my days. Calc 3.0.0 on Ubuntu 8.10
Spreadsheet Image via Wikipedia
I have a lot of problems trying to populate a spreadsheet with my day to day activities.  Spreadsheets are the basis for day planners and online calendars.  But, these devices just get way too onerous so we have moved to a list.  The problem with lists is that you don't get the lookahead that yo
u can get with a spreadsheet.  It is hard to track dependencies-- i.e. where you have one task that depends on another before you can complete it. Also, it is hard to track conflicts between multiple tasks that run in parallel.  The funny thing is that I can notice at work that some managers who plan using task lists often fail to account for dependencies and conflicts leading to project delays.  Funny how it is that it is easier to spot you own faults in other peoples!

Microsoft Project 2007 showing a simple Gantt ...
 Microsoft Project
 Image via Wikipedia
The funny thing is that I can do this at work on complicated projects using Microsoft Project but not with simple day to day to tasks.

Wilma is proposing that maybe I try putting a piece of shelf paper on the wall and color coding different tasks with their deadlines and  using the color Red to designate urgent tasks.   That way I can see what is coming up for a given week and a given month.

This might be one way to handle it.  But we are going to look at other things.

I asked how much of this problem might be a visual problem.  Wilma said that it is a good question as planning and organization are closely related to memory and visual spatial functions.  She found  a chart (and, yes, I can handle charts!)  that shows the interrelationships between neurological functions and age cohorts (ie what to expect 0-3, 3-6, etc).  The neurological functions are arranged such that they flow across the page horizontally in the manner that they are related.   Temporal sequential functions involved in planning are organized between memory and visual spatial.  

I explained to her that my audiologist, Maxine, had suspected a memory problem as I could only remember four or maybe five instructions when I was doing "Brain Fitness" by Posit Science.  My other physical therapist also suspects some memory problems.  Maxine did not think it was an audiological problem but a memory problem and had sent me off to a neuropsychologist to be evaluated for using the  Cogmed program.  He looked at my scores and said that I didn't have a memory problem.  So I had left it at that.  

Wilma thinks that my problem maybe could get better with vision therapy or maybe not.  We are doing a lot of higher order visual cognition work  so vision therapy might jar something loose.

 In addition, it  could be "Function Junction" where you can score well on assessments that measure each function specifically; but not work well in real life where you need integration of function.   It is the junction of the functions on the above mentioned chart that can be the source of the  problem.

Wilma noted that she worked with people who have brain injury who seem to have the same sort of problem and she is going to go off and consult the literature for specific therapies and tools used.  I am going to look at different iPhone/iPad apps that can be used for organization.  Wilma is not a fan of the iPhone because its screen is so small that it doesn't let you look too far into the future.  So maybe the iPad might be used for planning and, by using the syncing feature of the iPhone,  the iPhone is used for daily reminders.

We shall see. I think I am coming closer to understanding some of the root of my organizational problems.

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