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Just one task? Yeah right!

How many of my fellow neurospicy people have been told so often to just get on with a task they’ve been avoiding? Which has left you feeling as if you're failing at a simple life task?

For example, I’ll talk about getting the washing done. Simple right? You have dirty washing that needs doing, and you just need to get it cleaned.


It seems that the majority of people do not see this as an issue. You just get on and do it. Well, that’s easier said than done. Add a bit of ADHD to the mix, and it all just got a lot bigger. To us, it is not a simple case of “do the washing” as there are so many steps involved, and any one of them can become too much, and the job gets half done, or not started.

Firstly, you have to gather all the washing, which does not always make it into that helpful receptacle called a laundry basket. You then need to get said washing to the machine and put the correct stuff in the machine, which in my case includes the washing tablet, fabric softener, and a salt tablet – all of which need to be in a specific place.

If you haven't already, you then need to decide if you’re doing a light or dark wash and separate it all according to your choice, then get it in the machine. Next is deciding which programme to use, which you are either lucky enough to remember from last time, or you have another decision to make.

Then you have to wait for a prolonged period and hope you remember that you put the washing in the machine. If the machine is in the garage like mine is, remembering it is there could take anything from a couple of hours to a few days, by which time it often needs another wash.

Then comes the drying element of the task, whether in a tumble dryer, on a washing line, or scattered around the house on airers, the last of which brings its own stress as you probably hate extra clutter.

Once dried, you then have to fold it, sort it into piles, then put it away. Again, this bit of the process can take minutes, hours, or days. Of course, this is assuming you don’t need to iron anything, which brings another whole host of little tasks, rather than just one. Right?

Neurodivergent people can become overwhelmed by what seems to be a simple job, partly due to the many little tasks involved in it. Each task needs energy and executive functioning, both of which we have in limited supply. You might see just one job in doing the washing, but many of us see many layers and any one of these layers could become too much.

I know many people won’t fully understand this process, or why it is so difficult, and objectively I can see why. However, that does not mean we can just do it differently, or just get on and “stop making it a drama”. If, like me, you are late diagnosed, you have already had a lifetime of being told you are lazy, or stupid, or you just need to stop moaning and get on with it. You already feel like you are failing at life as you look at others who simply get on with stuff that you find difficult at times. Combine that with those days when you are on form, your dopamine levels are topped up, you have a few hours of just getting stuff done, and you have a truly productive day, and you’ve got another reason to be criticised and doubted.

So to all my neurospicy people out there, don’t beat yourself up for the tough days, enjoy those productive days, and don’t try to live up to other people’s standards.

You’re doing great and you know you’ll get those jobs done eventually.

Also, it's worth remembering that you are allowed to ask for help and don’t underestimate the power of having a body double who just needs to be there with you while you do it.

What tasks do you struggle with most? And how do you get past that? I would love to hear your strategies.


Hi, my name is Julie and I'm a counsellor! I provide a non-judgemental safe space for you.

I specialise in online therapy sessions as this is a more accessible option for many and offers more flexibility, plus your freedom to be in a place that is more comfortable for you.

Please get in touch if you'd like to learn more or arrange an initial consultation. As always, I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

And... It's good to talk. Talk helps.


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