If I had been writing this a year ago, I would only be able to offer you tips based on my personal experience about getting through the seasonal festivities currently looming over us all yet again.
As it is, this year, I have another option available to you. I will talk about this before sharing the tips and traditional strategies as I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that it is the most straightforward and easiest solution to managing everything you need to keep on top of between now and 2021.
Before we go ahead, let’s pause a moment and think about just a few of the things you might struggle with, and how these can create barriers to practical living.
Planning ahead, even for tomorrow, can be challenging for us, especially when we can be so focused on trying to get today sorted out that it absorbs all of our thinking capacity.
Staying focused over a more extended period takes effort and usually means putting aside enough uninterrupted time to create a full plan to give ourselves time to consider what we may have missed.
Anything that interrupts our daily routine can bring about feelings of anxiety. We worry that we might forget our everyday practices or that trying to make the time for something else will make us lose track of where we are.
Adding anything extra to the things we need to achieve and plan for can be daunting, particularly if you’re already struggling with managing your day-to-day life.
The Other Option
There is a fabulous new suite of apps from Brain Education Strategies & Technology (BEST), that can help you to:
These are all the tools you need to be able to help you keep focused and will not only help you to get through the holidays but also, crucially, help you learn about the cognitive and executive struggles that are holding you back.
The best thing is that the free trainings, webinars, and support enable you to use that ‘set-aside’ time in a practical way that will not only support you now but notably, will help you train your brain and improve your understanding for the future.
Once you have everything set up in the app, it will keep you on track.
Because you have to think about what you want the app to do for you, using it is not only incredibly rewarding but will also help you improve your awareness of your impairments.
The great thing about this is that rather than learning to rely on prompts, you learn how to take back control.
Before my fortuitous introduction to the BEST Suite, by Dr. Andrew Bateman, I managed my life ‘longhand.’
I am the first to admit that despite using several methodologies, I still missed things and had to work extremely hard to keep on track.
Over the years, I avoided using technology to help me. I understand now that I was instinctively using my ‘longhand’ paper-based techniques so that I could make the most of the opportunities I created through making mistakes.
I wanted to know what was broken so that I could figure out how to fix it and I figured the only way to do this was through self-observation. I wanted to rewire my brain by using my intellect and every original impetus that had created my pre-injury mind.
I know many of you use tools on your phones to help you organize your lives, while many others, like me, use immediately visible tools such as calendars/diaries, whiteboards, and post-it notes.
While we all have our personal preferences, I can see how my strategies helped me to not only re-train my brain, because it always had to work at managing what I was doing, but also helped me regain my self-awareness.
If we learn to rely on tools, the brain figures this is how we do things, and it supports those choices.
In my experience, although we will possibly make more mistakes by opting not to use electronic reminders, we instead gain because we are underpinning the basic skills our brain needs to perform a far wider variety of tasks. What I love the most about using the BEST Suite is that it is designed to do this exact same thing!