posted by phoebe

Phoebe Tonkin photographed by Alexandra Nataf for Matteau Swim SS17

some general tips for people with executive dysfunction

1. invest in a can of dry shampoo!!! they’re not particularly expensive (mine is batiste brand, i got it for $8).  showering a lot can suck for low energy people, esp people who are trying to get their hair to adjust to getting washed less offten (hair gets oily very quickly after long periods of being washed every day) and this can save lot of time while also making you feel clean!! 

2. BANANAS ARE A GODSEND. i get very sick in the morning, and im also perpetually low on energy, which usually makes me opt out of breakfast. but bananas are quick, easy, filling, and (fun fact) make you less nauseous somehow? idk. they’re great. if you never eat breakfast like me, try to start buying bananas more often as its a really good backup 

(this one’s kind of big so ill break it down so its easier to read) 

3. clean stuff as soon as possible rather than waiting for it to build up. it doesn’t have to be huge, time consuming tasks. just small steps to save yourself from some stress in the future. 

  • pick up clothes from the floor the second you take it off and put it in the washing machine. you don’t have to turn it on or do the washing now, but now its off your floor which is great!
  • throw stuff in the trash can the first time around instead of having it pile up. take empty cups/plates into the kitchen right away (you can go around the house, or even just your room and pick up dishes whenever you need to take a break from working or studying)
  • quickly do your bed first thing!! it doesn’t have to be extremely neat, honestly just dust off your covers, fold it at the foot of your bed and fluff your pillows a bit!! it took a minute but now your room looks a lot cleaner!

4. break up everything into small tasks/create routines that are very specific! my example will be showering.

  • when i shower, i break it up into very very specific parts. the first thing, probably the hardest, is getting myself in the shower. focusing on how showering is not a stressful activity, how it feels good and how good you feel after can definitely minimize the amount of time i spend psyching myself to get up, as overtime the idea of showering becomes an intrinsic part of your day rather than a task or chore. 
  • after i get myself in, the hardest part’s done, and i can relax. i do my routine, which at this point, has become a no brainer. my routine is: shampoo, conditioner (but i dont wash it out), body wash/soap, face wash, brushing my teeth (yes i brush my teeth in the shower fuck off two birds with one stone), and then finally i wash the conditioner out! this is weird but if im done extra quickly, i’ll let myself just stand there until the water runs cold bc idk i really like showering?? 

starting a new routine is always difficult but just stick with it. you can start introducing a routine one task at a time, you can remember to just wash your hair and then get out if thats all the energy you have today. and dont be ashamed about music in the shower!!! i played music on my phone in the shower every day for a year maybe? ive stopped now bc my last phone’s headphone port broke bc of water damage but anyway thats not relevant 

5. keeping a calendar and planner is great in feeling good and organized. you dont have to get a super expensive bullet journal, just start small. i got my current calendar as a christmas gift (theres food puns every month i love it) and my school provides planners. dont feel obligated to use it EVERY DAY and constantly have the best handwriting. just keep it on your desk in class and at home for whenever you need it

6. music and podcasts are good for any time. waking up but feeling super anxious and you dont want to get up? music/podcasts drown out your thoughts and can help you start your day in a nice way. studying and feeling really bored and annoyed?? listen to your favorite songs. trying to go to sleep but your annoying brain wont shut up? nice chill podcasts, or even just longish youtube videos help. 

  • music (especially instrumental music) is best for when you need to think and focus on a task. podcasts are good for menial tasks that dont require you to think that much, as podcasts are more engaging and have you focus on something so you feel less bored/procrastinatey!!! 
  • my favorite songs to listen to when studying are actually playlists ive made! (here and here) and my podcast/video recommendations are off topic and grumpcasts/long game grumps videos, but i understand that this isnt for everyone (cw: lots of swearing, dark humor, stupid casual racism/sexism/transphobia/ableism but its just something i put up with bc i really like michael jones)

i can’t really think of anything else right now!! these are just all the things i do that actually do help a lot

i see lots of sentiment in the studyblr community that basically says “your future self wont be pleased with your pathetic excuses right now :)” and stuff like that and just…please remember that executive dysfunction is never “just an excuse”, it is a legitimate reason for not being able to complete tasks. feeling frustrated with yourself is normal, but you should never be made to feel guilty for not being able to do something, no matter how menial or how crucial. you’re great and you can do this <3