Autism, and Losing days through Sensory Overload

Do you ever find that when you have one busy day, you end up losing two days?  What I mean by that is this; I work from home doing my writing, and I like to see it as my job.  I want to put a good few hours in to it each day.  But if I am out and about, and very busy one day then I just have to accept that I won`t have time to write, and so I plan to do it the next day.  But often I just can’t get going the next day.  I am still overloaded, and need a rest from the day before.  So ok, I will then plan to do it the next day, except I am out that day!  And so on ….

I enjoy going out and doing things, but when I do I find it takes so much out of me it can be hard to do anything the next day.  So it might seem as if I am only out three times in a week, but that will be three days out, and three days dealing with the overload.  Now I can do stuff on those days, but I would say I work at about 50% or even 40% percent of my normal rate.

This might strike a chord with fellow autistic writers, or it might not.  But it does not have to be solely about writing; there might be all kinds of things you try and find the time for.  It might be something as simple, and day to day as cleaning your house.  On the days you don’t go out, or rather the days after you have been out, are you too tired and overloaded to make the most of your free time?

What I tend to do, to try and balance things out, is do a small amount of work each day.  So on a day when I am finding it hard to get going I might just write a blog, or edit a few chapters of a book.  Nothing much, but better than nothing.  I also take a look at my plans for the upcoming days, and see if there are days I can set aside for work., or if there are things I can cancel to give myself more time.  For me that’s why planning ahead is key.  I know that I need a few days in a row where I don’t have to worry about going out much, and doing a lot else if I am to get my work done.  I can’t always do this, and when I can’t having one or two small set things to do can help.  It means I don’t have to be thinking about what to do, and will not feel guilty for not doing more.

I don’t know how many other people feel the same as me about this.  For me going out is great, but it means I lose two days of time that I could be working, and not one. I know people who do not understand autism would find this hard to understnad, as for the most part they do something and then move on.  But for myself –  and I am sure my fellow autistic people – the impact of overloads, and busy places is often not felt fully until the next day.