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Issue# 14

Steps Five & Six of Cripping Productivity

John Loeppky

August 31, 2023

A crystal ball is rolling on a winding road toward an archway in the distance. Below is what can only be described as a representation of molten water. It feels like an ephemeral journey at dusk.
I’m not saying like I feel like that crystal ball when I’m trying to reorient myself but I’m not not saying that/ 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay

Reflect and then Reflect Some More

Today I’ll be sharing the last two steps of my current cripping productivity methodology. They are selecting what is actionable and reevaluating repeatedly. Let’s start with how we can select what is actionable. It turns out that it’s not inherently valuable to say that you’re going to set up a morning routine, or select small habits, or to fully dive into some form of digital minimalism, you actually have to take action in a way that works for you.

Let me give you an example, one of the physiotherapy techniques I was taught as a child was called the Peto method. It’s medical efficacy has been questioned by the American establishment, but it worked for me. At its core, the idea is that my cerebral palsy is, fundamentally, a miscommunication between brain and body. I once likened it to the worst Craig’s List missed connections ad of all time.

Peto’s idea was/is that you need to make those connections to increase quality of life. This meant doing physio in a way where you could feel what each muscle was doing rather than being on a squishy mat. More importantly, for me, this approach asks you to be methodical. Instead of thinking, “I’m going to try to step down from that curb” your thought process becomes more like “I’m going to walk until I can lean on that car, I’m going to lean in a way where I won’t fall on the car, I’m going to slowly move this leg and then this one, and then I’m going to reconsider where I need to go next once I’m safely down the step.”

Sometimes, especially if you’re neurodivergent, this can easily become overwhelming. So, to combat that, let’s take a lesson from step four: to take a small bite. Start with just one action you can take. So, instead of: here’s my five step morning routine, what can be helpful for people (read: me and some of my kin) is to only expect ourselves to do one thing. Just one. Nothing more. Select actions that you know you can integrate on a good body/brain day and a middle of the road body/brain day. We have a habit, in disability community, of building our productivity systems based on our best days. My “best days” happen maybe 12 times a year. Why would I make something that happens 3% of the time my baseline for success?

Once you’ve decided what tasks or patterns are actionable then you can move on, at a sensible for you pace, to the last step: reevaluating. And it’s time, yet again, for a story.

I did three years of an education degree before I realized that the sector is absolutely full of ableism that I probably wouldn’t survive all that well. I pivoted to the arts, and dove further into journalism. I like to think I know teach in a different way. However, our joke during education classes was that it was only ever about reflection, that your final grade was just based on your reflection’s reflection’s reflection. Within cripping productivity here is my point: you cannot know the efficacy of a system if you don’t reevaluate it periodically. You might think about this seasonally, you might think about this in terms of stages of your life, you might decide to check in every three months to evaluate your entire productivity stack or system?

Whatever works for you, reevaluation has to happen at some point. Right now, as I write this, my to-do list system has fallen apart and I’ve defaulted to triage mode. I want to set up the last quarter of the year for success and so Tuesday and Wednesday are set for business development and review. Knowing me, I’ll write about it next week!

Until tomorrow!


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