To Do Or Not To Do?

I love flow charts. Since first encountering them as a child I’ve found them a really useful way to get information.

I’ve made lots of my own before, including playful tic-based charts about penguins or lychees:

… and one aimed at getting people to think about whether that ‘Tourettes joke’ they want to tell really is a joke:

A couple of days ago illustrator and fellow wheelchair user Hannah Ensor (AKA Stickman Communication) shared a flow chart on Twitter called ‘To Do Or Not To Do – A Pacing and Activity Decision Chart“. As soon as I saw it I knew it would be helpful.

Just last week I wrote about ‘My Boom and Bust Body’ and how I’ve been struggling to adjust to my reduced energy levels and stamina. My instinct’s always to try and ‘push through’ – a strategy that no longer works because my brain gets frazzled and my body crashes out.

In a simple, clear and humorous way Hannah’s flow chart perfectly captures the process I must learn to get better at:

I’ve already sent this to Leftwing Idiot, Fran and Innes and will share it with other people I work with closely. I’ve asked them to remind me of this flow chart whenever I’m struggling to make sensible decisions.

‘Pace yourself’ can be an easy thing to say, but a much more complicated thing to do. I find it particularly hard when I’m really enjoying myself but at the same time can feel my body struggling, or when deadlines are pressing. The next few days are likely to be really busy as we prepare for Brewing In The Basement at the Barbican Centre on Friday and Saturday, so it’s vital that I manage my energy in a sensible way, and that means I’ve come across this tool just in time.

Hannah’s website has loads of other useful tools too, including communication cards relating to specific conditions like Tourettes, ADHD, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to name just a few. And there are ones that help communicate access requirements in a clear and friendly way. She even has a children’s book called ‘Biscuit Baking’ that features a wheelchair-using character. I’ll definitely be getting a copy of this for my niece.

Thanks Hannah for the great flow chart. Now all I have to do is use it!

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