#newRoutine: The Plan So Far

Posted on the

A few days ago I published the first post in a new series. The series documents the process and day to day adventures of me developing a new routine after my established routine collapsed due to COVID-19.

This post is all about our plans so far….

It’s been about 5 days since we started lock down.

We’re staying at home to flatten the curve. However the changes have also caused my day to day routine to collapse.

In this post I’m going to share our plan so far for my new routine. The techniques were planning to use and why we are planning to use them.

Technique 1: Morning & evening routine

I am lucky that I have friends nearby. They are now working from home and are allowed to travel to support me.

We have planned two new routines. A routine which happens at my flat in the morning; and a routine which happens at their house each evening.

The routines are focused on the essentials. Ensuring that I eat, do my teeth and generally stay healthy.

The routines are short (2-3 items) and have lot’s of time assigned. The aim is for the routines to be easy to complete. As I get better at them we will slowly fill the time with more things.

This allows us to be flexible. The routine doesn’t get any longer, it gets more complex.

Initially my morning routine has 3 task.

Drink, breakfast, Brush teeth.

My evening routines takes places happens at my friends house and has three steps. Having a shower / bath, brushing my teeth & eating dinner.

We have a third routine which is optional. It outlines what i should be doing at lunch time.

Technique 2: prompt boards.

The second thing we’ve done is to create some prompt boards.

The boards show the routine along with some small icons. They help me to remember what to do and also act as reminders I have a routine.

We’ve used them lots before and they have been effective. It gives me somewhere to look if I am unsure what I am suppose to be doing.

Technique 3: no alarms

The third technique is to avoid a strategy which doesn’t work for me. We’re not using alarms.

The problem with alarms is I get distracted after I start the task. The alarms don’t help with the tasks. The alarms become annoying and I start resenting them. That’s not helpful. The routine are to help me. Not to imprison me.

Instead the routine is built around the timing of others. Real things which bring their own deadlines. The morning routine starts before my friend starts work and my evening routine is timed around when my friends have dinner.


I have given up a fair amount of autonomy at the moment. I’m extremely dependent on friends and my stability is closely tied to them being well and able to help. That might be a big problem if any of us get sick.

I don’t have much ability to control things like when I eat and sleep. I’ve given up that autonomy in exchange for the support I need.

We’ve spend years trying to avoid dependency like this. It’s not healthy between friends. However for the current situation it’s fine. Once the pandemic passes we can start re-establishing the autonomy i used to have.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

Social Links

Get In Touch

Jamie: @JamieKnight
Lion: @Lickr