Aspergers and Body rhythms

This morning I woke up full of beans and raring to go which is unusual for me as I don’t usually talk until I’ve drunk my tea yet today I was able to have full conversations at the breakfast table. I did however skip breakfast as I didn’t feel hungry which is quite normal for me but not waiting 3.5 hours after doing a lot of exercise. (Hoovering is quite energetic). After lots of sorting, organising, cleaning and general housework I finally sat down to check to check my emails but got very frustrated because my computer and the Internet seemed to have become incredibly slow all of a sudden. I then needed to eat again as brain work is hard work. Add to this a builder and a business meeting and you have a full house. This took its toll on me after I tried to phone my parents to be interupted by an unexpected satellite /tech man who I wasn’t expecting. I didn’t really know how to deal with him as I didn’t know what he was there to fix. So after I passed the buck and phoned my parents I fell asleep which very rarely happens even abroad where they sleep mid afternoon each day. It didn’t get much better as we were awaiting a visitor but had no idea when they were going to turn up or when my Bro would be back from work so we could celebrate his birthday. I don’t like uncertainty or strange people in the house even though he was a very efficient and knowledgeable man. The tiredness continued for the rest of the day. I did perk up a bit but my usual rhythms have been completely thrown out of wack for the past 2 days and I bet it’s going to get worse. At times like this my Aspergers flares up and I don’t even need alcohol to go off on one, to be moody, sullen or just passive and uncommunicative. If I’m dealing with a lot going on I retreat and it’s noticeable as my demeanour alters drastically. Sometimes I have days when I can’t muster the energy to be a fully functioning person but I need to interact so it’s difficult to obtain a balance between needing to recharge on my own and maintaining social functions so that I’m not oestrized from the community around me.

Time management

I have always had issues with this because I get easily distracted as so many things interest me and I want to do them all but there never seems time to and generally by the time there is, I have moved on to some new interest. So I am endeavouring at the moment to improve my time keeping abilities while I’m relaxed and have lots of time off.

An idea that has been mentioned by a couple of people recently is the pomodoro technique technique. I thought that was an odd name as it means tomato but it actually relates to a cooking timer and these are quite often shaped that way. Its about increasing your productivity by being realistic about how long a task takes with the ability to be as flexible as you need your schedule to be. It is quite a simple idea in execution but the best, most useful tips always are. Getting rid of distractions and protecting your time allows you to focus more completely at the task in hand and therefore complete it to the best of your ability. By looking at your work in this way it allows you to improve by noticing where you are currently having difficulties and to eliminate them if possible or to minimize the disturbance they cause if they can’t be completely eradicated.

There was a famous German mathematician who once said that he only did about 2 hours worth of work during the day. One was before lunch and the other after. The rest of the time he devoted to walks around his city and to thinking about what ever came into his mind as it helped him to think in an abstract manner. I believe it was Leonard Euler who came up with the solution to the Konigsberg bridge problem

Inspiration

This can come in many forms and form many sources. I have admired the fact that Martin Lewis made a thriving business out of a newsletter that he used to send to friends and family assisting them with the financial details of life, that Daniel Tammet made a life for himself out of his vast talent for memorising numbers and learning languages and that Jack Monroe was lifted out of extreme poverty with the her resourcefulness in the kitchen. Sometime necessarily is the mother of invention as it was proved to be in her case.

I have always known that the traditional way of working and earning money was not for me as it has always struck me as the most boring thing to do in the world as I would see everybody struggle on a daily basis at jobs that they hated but they knew they had to continue as they had mouths to feed, bills to pay and it sucked the life and soul of them like if dementors actually existed.

I have always tried to do things differently a) because I usually didn’t understand the way it was done in the first place, b) the normal way of doing things was fine originally but no longer, c) it seemed illogical to me to continue when there are better ways to do things, d) just because it was always done that way does not mean it will always have to be done that way as that stifles creativity, innovation and imagination.

John Berger Ways of Seeing is a book that helps you to criticise art and is recommended on art history courses but I’m afraid that didn’t actually make a great deal of sense to me. Some books that are well applauded like the classics are really difficult to read as the text doesn’t seem to flow many because they used to write in a very archaic and formal manner or perhaps because the subject matter they were dealing with was rather heavy. Of course there is always a counterpoint having read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and I thought that was about as relevant today as it ever was.

This is why I have decided to try to write more frequently on this blog as that attracts a more regular audience and I believe that I have something to say to the world even if the world may not want to accept it as facts. If I’m lucky I will eventually garner some money from this but I doubt that will happen for a while if at all.

Productive Learning

The best state to be in order to maximise your learning potential is a relaxed, calm and happy one as your not stressed, with minimal distractions and demands on your time and resources. This is what makes the holiday period ideal but also any holiday period.

I find that I can remember and recall things best at these times as I bet most people will. I am sometimes amazed at how much my brain has processed and stored away that I am not even aware of. I have recently been attempting to improve my Greek knowledge by learning verbs and pronouns so quite difficult grammatical concepts and I have been presented with words that are at times quite random and I’m recognising them even written in the Greek language. If I don’t think too much about it I find I’m better than if I use my concious working memory so it just goes to show how phenomenal the unconscious brain is. I don’t even listen to tapes at night but when I get a feeling for language learning I do it. There is a lot to be said for using love, lust and desire to motivate you to learn a language but the catharsis that is present when your drinking/after sex is extremely useful too.

Learning how you learn best (metalearning) is crucial as it allows you to create an environment that is conducive to the task at hand and after all when you set your mind to anything, you want to achieve it as quickly as possible don’t you as then you can move onto the next item on the agenda.

The fact that we need to learn how to learn is odd as you would think that we would all have the innate ability to do this but it just goes to show how diverse the human race is by requiring so many different methods to arrive at the same goal.

I love learning, knowledge and words in general so I have studied this area in detail at various levels of my education and now just for fun as researching facts makes me happy. It helps me to make sense of the world as it is forever changing and when we think we understand it switches on us so we are forever playing catch up but that is part of the appeal, the fact we can never know everything in the entire world but we can attempt it. (Yes I’ve tried but not even Kim Peek does.)

Weather report

sinmerino kairos einai poli sinnefo, oxi ilyas, ligo ygrasia, zestos thermokrasia dekatessera moires. avrio einai ble ouranos iyelada, aneras, vroxi, kryo kai echthes itan ena asterpee kataigida me vronti, halazi, pagos, chioni, kai chiononero.

Today’s weather is very cloudy, no sun, little humidity, warm, temperature 14 degrees. Tomorrow is blue sky, sunshine, wind, rain, cold and yesterday was a lighting storm with thunder, hail, ice, snow and sleet.

Thanks google translate for adding in all the gender bits I forgot. I clearly still have a long way to go.

O kairós símera eínai polý tholó , den ypárchei ílios , lígi ygrasía , zestó , thermokrasía 14 vathmoús . Ávrio eínai to ble tou ouranoú , ton ílio , ton ánemo , ti vrochí , to krýo kai chthes ítan mia thýella fotismoú me vrontés , chalázi , págo , chióni kai to chionónero .

My current autistic special interest

Yes Aspergers and obsessions/special interests go hand in hand. I’m not sure if you can have it without. It does cause a lot of problems like when I decide to stalk people and must find out everything about them but it can also be very useful as I stick at things that I really like regardless of issues ie currently learning Greek.

I have been reading about Cal Newport who wrote about using fixed scheduling to deal with what is important in a world where your demands are ever increasing and it helps to deal with distractions. I do need help prioritising as I am prone to follow my interests wherever they lead which does not lead to me leading a productive life just learning more and more fact which don’t have an immediate use. He also wrote about using deep thought and concentration to maximise your efficiency. Having Aspergers means you can be single minded and determined to pursue your goal irregardless of what is going on around you but the issue is if that pursuit is procrastination it is not to yours or anyone’s benefit. I aspire to have the 4 hour work week as written about by Tim Ferris in his book as would I expect most people in the world but you do need to be able to be extremely focused and eschew normal working conditions. Telecommunications means we are no longer stuck in an office and can work wherever we want as long as we have internet.

I like to think that I have innovative thought processes, I know there pretty unusual and original but there not always appreciated. I am a visual person that thinks in a creative manner but words are not always my friends. In fact talking is a thing I like to do only in a good mood and with people I know. Jane Arnold has written about visualisation to help learning a language and has said how this is neglected too much in school and it has a negative effect on the minds of children. I believe this is why autistic children sometimes struggle in school. They need a different approach to be successful. Memorization is not learning which is why I was brilliant in school but when it came to expressing an opinion all I could do is repeat parrot fashion what I had learnt without any understanding.

Another person who is involved in this new wave of thinking is Ed Cooke who is a memory champion and owns Memrise which is what I use to help learn Greek and maybe other languages later. I like the mnemonics feature as pictures are my friends and it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words and they can be interpreted in many ways but here in lies the problem. What if you forget the way you were thinking when you made the link and can’t forget the association leading you to remember something that is incorrect and possibly injurious to yourself?

The person that has inspired me to write this particular blog article is my online friend that I met on Memrise Angelos Georgakis who writes books about study skills, How to take good notes, language learning How to learn any language not in 7 days and basically embracing your individuality to live a better life that is more in tune with your own personality The art of persuasion for your mutual benefit. I like the fact he has the cojones to embrace all that life has to offer saying no to money (he used to be an investment banker) and yes to a more harmonious life (he also teaches music).

Movies

As I have got older I have spent increasing amounts of time watching TV and movies. I like geeky, scientific shows that are quite frequently also detective shows. They are unfortunately mainly American in nature which is rather irritating as I have to wait for them to be shown on Sky. At least I have that even though I would love to have a connection reliable enough for me to have Netflix. Perhaps its good I don’t because I would never get anything done.

Besides since watching most of the stuff Hollywood produces, I got into classic movies and watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Gone with the Wind having previously watched Casablanca and of course the Sound of Music. I never got round to watching Ben Hur even though I have a copy as it takes intense concentration to sit there for the incredible length that there on and you just want them to be over. They are incredible though and worthy of there classic status.

I then started watching 80’s movies as there is so many I had never heard of like the Last Comic book hero with Arnold Swarznegger and Labrinth with David Bowie. There only occasionally on TV and I will eventually get around to watching Twins.

Due to the difficulty and talking to various people I have also started getting interested in foreign language movies as I will be able to appreciate them especially due to the fact that I’m very interested in learning languages and this is a good way to progress relatively easily so I have bought myself Angel-a and I have been looking into Lars Von Trier.