AUTISTIC NICK’S CHECKLIST
FUN FACT – Checklists were first introduced in October 30, 1935 After the crash of the Model 299 on October 30, 1935, the Checklist was introduced by Boeing, as a permanent and mandatory tool, to be used by all pilots in the Boeing fleet.
FUN FACT- Atul Gawande an American surgeon was the inventor of the checklist.
FUN FACT – Autistic Nick uses one every Thursday!
FUN FACT – It helps me to feel in control and allows me to be prepared for the train journey and the working day ahead.
FUN FACT – The checklist has it’s own national holiday known as National Checklist Day which is on October 30 every year!
Don’t be fooled by the title of this week’s blog post. I do not own nor have I ever owned a laminating machine. Don’t think that just because I wrote the word check list in the title of this week’s post that I made a checklist and then laminated it and it’s now hanging on the wall in my bedroom. No, that dream is only for CEO’S and highly paid reality stars and Instagram influencers.
But why you ask do you Autistic Nick need a check list for? Isn’t your life one free of stress, hassle, and the need for one of these?
Oh, my friend you are wrong on so many levels. I need a checklist in order to make sure that I have everything that I need before I set out to work on Friday.
I usually begin my checklist process on the Thursday, so that on Friday I can do one last quick check and then head out the door towards the train station.
But I can hear you asking yourselves what do you take? What’s in the backpack? Unlike Detective Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan from the UK TV show Unforgotten I will show you. When will we see what’s in his backpack? When?
Here then is my checklist of items that I take with me to work secure in my backpack. I won’t be as secretive as Detective Sunil Khan. Just what is he hiding?
Noise Cancelling headphones
My word search puzzle book and pen
My notebook and pen (yes, I have two pens. Sue me!)
My ID staff pass
A printout of the train times both there and back
My smartrider train pass (pre-loaded with money)
My phone charger
A pre-packed lunch (including snacks)
The reason that I have a checklist in place is so that I don’t become stressed and overwhelmed. Which for an Autistic person can easily happen. I don’t want to get to work and not have packed my noise cancelling headphones for example.
Becoming stressed isn’t something that I want to occur especially within the workplace. If that does occur, then I need to attempt to remember the four skills for managing a stressful situation. These are Awareness, Acceptance, Coping and Action skills. Some skills may be more useful in certain situations. Each skill may be explained better using a situation which a person may face in real life.
This is getting a clearer understanding of the situation and how it affects the person.
Acknowledging that you are getting stressed and being realistic about the effects that it is having on you e.g. what aspects are within your control and which are out of your control and then working out if these are or important/unimportant.
Preparing to cope with the stressful situation by learning various strategies. Identify what changes you can make to control the situation and reduce stress levels.
Actively making changes to counteract or reduce the level of stress.
The other part to managing stress is to breath! First, a person needs to focus upon their breathing pattern.
They need to identify whether they breathe mainly through the chest or through their stomach. Short, shallow, and rapid breaths from the upper chest should be avoided. The aim is to breathe deeply and slowly through the nose.
A person should feel greater movement in the stomach than the chest as they inhale and exhale. Practice breathing exercises every day. Learn to apply slow breathing as needed e.g. when feeling stressed, angry, or anxious.
By having a checklist in place, I can relax, breathe, and not be stressed heading into work and a busy newsroom environment.
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
Do you have a checklist in place?
How do you cope with stress?
What techniques work for you?
Let me know in the comments section below
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.