The beanbag zone.

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A few days ago I watched a video by CGP Grey called Spaceship You. It’s well worth your time to watch it.

I really like greys video. He talks about how lockdown is much like a space mission. We’re all on our own mission with the goal to come home safe and well.

It covers a lot of the same concepts I’ve been using to enhance my autistic life. The key concept being that environments effects us, and then we effect the environment.

In the video Grey suggests four zones. This was a really useful tool to me. I had hit a similar idea before, but I hadn’t found good names for them

The four zones suggested are:

  1. Sleep
  2. Exercise
  3. Relax
  4. Creative

These are great names. I could immediately see how I didn’t have any separation between my sleep / relaxation environments. I started to create new zones and work out the boundaries between them.

In this post I’ll share the four zones I’ve created and how I am using them.

Sleep Zone

This is my bed. When I get up in the morning I make my bed and I only go back to my bed if I am expecting to sleep.

Some days I may take a quick nap. When I do I try to leave bed quickly once I wake up.

Relaxation Zone

This is the first new zone. Ideally I could have a dedicated space, but more realistically It needed to fit in my bedroom.

Luckily my flatmate had a spare beanbag, so we have set that up in my room to act as my relaxing space.

I’ve mostly use it for reading magazines, watching YouTube videos and researching bike related things.

Creative Zone

This is the second new zone. I’ve been working from my lounge recently as working from the cupboard became difficult.

Working from the lounge is okay but I didn’t have a desk or the space to fit a traditional desk.

To help out one of my friends built me a little desk out of spare metal tubes. It fits perfectly in the space I have for it.

Creativity is a good name. It’s not just work. It’s also the space where I build bikes and other hands on creative task.

It’s the only place place I use for my day to day work. It helps me to get into work and out of work mode.

This has a tiny bit of overlap with relaxation. For example I am writing this post from my beanbag, as the lounge is too bright and busy right now.

Exercise Zone

The last zone for me is exercise. Most days I am going for a bike ride. With the money I have saved on bikes trips I brought some parts and built myself a bike suitable for local riding.

It’s designed for longer distance rides across rough terrain. It’s enabling me to explore more varied places to ride. It’s not a lot of exercise in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a huge achievement for me.

Final Thoughts

That’s it really for this post. I really liked Gray’s video. Hopefully it’s been useful to share how I have applied his concepts into my daily life.

Ultimately it’s all about adding structure to my life so I can more easily move from moment to day, day to week and week to month.


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

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Jamie: @JamieKnight
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