A personal timezone

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Welcome to noon. It’s a fine day today. I’ve had a slow morning and just got to the cafe to do some writing and other work. Well, its noon for me, but the folks around me would say its 3pm…

This is a post about why i’ve adopted an offset timezone and how i hope it can make my life a little easier.

Why?!

Now my routine is running again (woohoo), the lockdown has eased and i have access to productive work enviroments… the next biggest barrier is limiting my exposure to time “home alone”.

I find being home alone very difficult. It burns through my energy quickly and i end up very very tired and muddled. ADHD meds certainly help, but even then i have a 5-6 hour limit. Past that it starts to effect my speech / mood etc.

During lockdown this was less of an issue. My flatmate was around all day so i didn’t spent much time home alone. A few hours a day at most.

Now lockdown is easing and my flatmate has gone back to work, it’s all changed. My flatmate heads to work at around 9am and then i am home along till 7pm when routine starts. I get a small support visit in the middle, but essentailly its like doing a 10 hour flight everyday.

Thats not working at all… so i hit on the idea of passing the time the same way i do on a plane. By attempting to sleep most of it!

By sliding my timezone about 3 hours, most of my waking hours will fall when my flatmate is home or when i have support. Tada.

Rather than being home alone and awake for 10+ hours a day… i am only home and awake for for 5-6 hours. Tada!

As a added bonus i have more energy at the times when people are home so i can do stuff with them. This is much better than being so tired in the evening no one can ever visit.

How it works.

I’ve set my phone and watch to the timezone for Fernando de Noronha which is a small group of islands near brazil. It’s useful as it;s currently 3 hours offset from London time. When its noon in london, its 9am in Fernando and for me.

With the time offset in place, my routines are pretty normal. Just 3 hours off what other people are doing.

I get up for 9am, have an hour of support till 10am. During the support hour i get ready to leave the flat. Have some breakfast, have a shower, than sort of thing.

I aim to leave the flat for the cafe / cupboard by 11 and then work till about 4pm. I have some lunch while i am out.

At 4pm i have two hours of support. In this time i have dinner, a bath and sort out my bag / clothing etc for the next day. During this time my flatmate normally arrives home.

After routine finishes at 6pm i have 3-4 hours to interact with my flatmate then decompress before bed by 10pm or so.

Work and stuff?

Beyond letting people know not to book meetings with me in the morning the change hasn’t effected my work much. I still have 3-6 useful hours a day. They just happen in the afternoon.

The main benifit is having more energy. I havent been awake and alone 6 hours before major meetings. Often I’ve only been awake an hour or two and am fresh and ready for the day.

Final thoughts.

This is a very surreal approach to covering a support gap. However, it seems to work so i wont knock it. In an ideal world i wouldn’t be alone at home during the day, but given the situation this will do!

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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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