Specialist SEN Solicitor
25th October 2021
Although we start something sometimes, we do not always finish it, do we? Or we don’t even start something at all sometimes, just because we are afraid that we won’t finish it.
For example, we often think of something that we need to do and then try to do it, but ultimately find that we then run out of time and so therefore end up not finishing it. Alternatively, we sometimes do not even start the thing that we need to do, because we know that we are not going to be able to finish it within the timeframe that we have allocated for it, so we do not even start it at all!
Unfortunately, human beings are not very good at estimating the time in which they have to do things. Realistically, you need to break a big task down into lots of small achievable component tasks because, if you just see it as one big task, you will probably feel overwhelmed and may not even start it, because you will know unconsciously that you cannot finish it there and then.
We usually take this ‘all or nothing’ approach to things and then put unnecessary pressure onto ourselves by feeling that we have to do something completely, or not at all, rather than just accepting that we probably need to do things just a little bit at a time. As the famous Chinese philosopher, Confucius, once said: “Every journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step”!
Instead of setting yourself only one big task on your list, break that one big task into lots of smaller sub-tasks that you can do one at a time and check them off. By doing this, you will also feel good that you are making progress and are on your way to completing the big task and also by doing this, you can see that task written down and ticked off, so you then feel good about what you are doing – it is circular. Progress is always a good thing, no matter how small it is.
Sparing a small amount of time to do something often also does not feel like very much time and can usually be done quite quickly, so even doing just 10 minutes of an hour-long task is already 1/6th of that task done. Let me put it slightly differently, rather than just doing 15 minutes of a 30-minute task and then doing the other 15 minutes of it the next day (or later), you may not even do those first 15 minutes, because you know that the whole task is going to take you 30 minutes to do and you cannot do it all there and then, so you end up not doing anything.
We also need to realise that we cannot do everything at once. It is probably better anyway to do things only a bit at a time over a few days, as you then have thinking time between doing things and can therefore reflect on what you have already done and what you still need to do. In this way you can also adapt the way that you do things as you go along. So, rather than doing everything at once and then knowing you may have to do everything again because you have only later realised you have not done everything right the first time, you end up not having to do that whole thing again, but only that small part again.
So, this week, try to look at things that you need to do as smaller component tasks of a big task that you can break down in your mind. If you do this, you will probably find that you can actually find the time to do those big tasks that you have been putting off, or thought that you could not do, by just doing them a little bit at a time.
In this week's SEN Update, you will find sections entitled:
I know how busy everyone always is, so please feel free just to read the sections that are of interest to you or read everything; the choice is always yours.
Although I overlooked telling you about 'Dyslexia Week' a couple of weeks ago, I am pleased to say that I have not overlooked this issue completely, as October is also seen as 'Dyslexia Awareness Month'.
I have been helped this week by looking at the website of The British Dyslexia Association (BDA). The BDA says that it is "... the voice of dyslexic people. We aim to influence government and other institutions to promote a dyslexia friendly society that enables dyslexic people of all ages to reach their full potential."
But my understanding was also helped by a very good article I saw on SEN Magazine's website entitled: '
Dyslexia and prejudice', which you may also find interesting to read.
In terms of news, here are the other articles that I found of interest this week:
Schools should stay open as greatest risk of Covid transmission is in households, research finds
Social mobility tsar wants campaign against toddlers having mobile phones
'Years to get children back on track after Covid'
Again, aside from clicking on the relevant links for more information, I would also remind you of the very useful resources and information provided on the following websites:
- Council for Disabled Children
- Special Needs Jungle
I would also highlight again the magazines: SEN Magazine and Autism Eye which are both very helpful to any parents or professionals involved with children/young people with SEN.
Keep safe until next week.
With best wishes
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