Tag Archives: coping with housework

My Executive Function Strategies

This is inspired by Executive Function Strategies by Musings of an Aspie, where Cynthia outlines her strategies for managing her everyday life (neatly… a very useful post).

It is a rework of my comment on Cynthia’s post, and outlines my current executive function strategies.

I have written about how I use Todoist before and that is still my key everyday life management tool. My setup has grown and evolved a bit over time, but it is essentially the same as when I initially wrote about it, so in regard to Todoist, this post may be considered an update. It is more than that though; I aim to outline all my main everyday order strategies.


So, my overall “big picture” management tool is still Todoist. Every task I need to do is scheduled in Todoist; big and small; recurring (mostly), one-off tasks, single tasks and complex tasks that require a sequence of sub-tasks to be done. I use the premium version of Todoist, which enables me to use more and nicer colours, tags*, comments, templates and boolean operators … all of which I use extensively. I use Todoist on my computer and android tablet.

I use folders and colour coding to give the visual overview over the major aspects of operation in my life: Work, Home, Creative and Social (and currently an additional folder related to the processing of my dad’s estate).


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I Did All The Work! Executive Function Win.

I just cleared, swept and washed the floors in the living room, the two corridors, the bathroom and the kitchen. That may sound mundane, but seriously… The floors have not been properly washed in the one and a half years we have lived in the house, apart from the occasional spot-wash to remove specific spills. That is right. Now the floor cleaning tasks are set up in Todoist to be done every 2 weeks (let’s see if that is a realistic interval), starting today. And I did it.

Actually I had only the living room floor coming up in my agenda today, but once I’d started I decided to go on with the other floors and set them up as recurring tasks as well, starting today so they’ll always tend to come up together.

This is what my karma trend looks like: the top line, under 21 September, is full of green colour. All the green colour is the floors being cleaned today.

Print screen: karma trends show lots of activity today. Todoist anno September 2013

Besides the green colour (=housework), there is pale purple (=ADLs), maroonish red (=pet care – that’s the daily dog walkie) and black (=paid work) in today’s Karma trend line.

The black colour is 3 household visits I made early this afternoon, which included five interviews, one unsuccessful visit, and a revisit to a previously interviewed household to clarify something. It is a bit unsatisfying that all that looks so short in the trendline compared to the other areas. After all, visiting people and undertaking interviews is much harder than housework, and I also think it took longer (I didn’t time the housework… I always time my paid work, of course).

I may suggest an option to weight tasks and have their Karma trend length adjusted accordingly to the feature suggestion forum.

Still, this is awesome. I got the work done! I didn’t get distracted! (too much…;-) I have been amazingly productive today, and while I’m tired, I am not more tired than usual. I just got more done. And now the rest of the day is totally and freely mine with no guilt about things I ought to do whatsoever.

Todoist: Massively Helpful Executive Function App

This is to bring attention to and complement Nattily’s great review of the Executive Function App Todoist. Todoist categorises itself as an online task management app and todo list, and I believe the nickname Executive Function App is coined by Nattily. Anyway, that is a beautifully accurate name for the job the app does, so I’ll keep that.

I’ll write this post partly by converting and rewriting my comments on Nattily’s post.

I decided to give the app a try last week after I read Nattily’s review, because I have long been looking for a system that can help me to get things done and make/keep order in my life.

I often feel like I am drowning in tasks I ought to do without being certain what they are, how many they are, and if it is even humanely possible to get a grip of the massive myriad of duties a normal, responsible adult life requires.

I need something which integrates all the different types of big and small tasks I need to do into my life in a meaningful, steady, ongoing manner. Not just a one-off cleaning frenzy, or brushing my teeth 5 days in a row. Not like this:


but an all-in-one-system. An everyday executive function manager that is so easy and hassle free so I’ll use it every day.

And this app works. It took me a while to set it all up, but I can say now, having used it for a bit over a week, that it has already massively improved my everyday productivity and sense of being in control of my life. So this is a warm recommendation.
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