Rebuilding productivity: getting back to work

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The last few weeks have been amazing. With input from a few different adaptive cycling experts, each providing a bit of the solution, we‘be got to something which has boosted my autonomy back to pre-injury levels.

I am more or less stable again with the main mental health challenges behind us.

It’s now time to focus on getting on with getting on. How do we get from where we are now, to a situation where I can get stuff done

Routine adventure

Like before, I am going to more or less plan my work life around my weekly adventures each Wednesday. That’s the day I get all my social care stuff done and with anytime left over go for a trike ride.

The adventure sits in the middle of my intense support period each week. With an access to work day on either side (Tuesday and Thursday) and the a low support period acting as buffer Friday through Monday.

In terms of hours, I’m aiming for 12 desk hours a week. With most of the hours on the access to work days and the rest spread out across the rest of the week.

Barriers that remain

None of the barriers that remind are new. Just a new flavour of things I have experienced before

I’ve always had issues reading my monitor. It’s why I use screen zoom software and a screen reader. This issue has been made a bit trickier as I now sit in a reclined position further from the screen.

Our solution is a bit basic but works well. Make everything bigger. I had a 24” display but I have been borrowing a 28” display! I’ve ordered one of my own which should arrive in the next few days.

With the big display and the reclined l position, being at my desk is low pain. It’s not pain free, it does hurt more over time, but it should be comfortable enough for a few hours per day.

Once I am comfortable at the desk, the next challenge is being able to focus.

I have all the same challenges with focus as I did before my injury. I struggle to focus when working from home and will work much better if I can head out, get a task done while out and then return home with complete. It’s why I worked so well at the cafe.

The pandemic is still going so I probably won’t be able to work that way for a while. For now I am going to hold off on working outside my flat, but eventually I can see me making my way to the storage unit or a cafe again. Perhaps once I have a wheelchair sorted.

Desk time

One of the ways I am approaching this is to try and keep demands low. Initially I am going to measure the time I am at my desk, rather than the specific activity.

Initially I’ll be ‘playing on the computer’ or gaming on the Xbox. Over time I’ll do other stuff. Hopefully by the end of May I’ll be able to start taking on tasks for my day job.

It won’t be a fast transition. But the facts it’s happening at all is pretty dang good. We tend to find that small changes rapidly build momentum.

If all goes to plan a life changing ‘injury’ may only have cost me a few months away from my work. In the grand scheme of things that better than anything we could have hoped for just a few weeks ago.


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
Lion: @Lickr