During occupational therapy sessions this last week at the preschool we created a “Determine Your Session” game. The student was given a ball and had to throw it at one of the numbers located on the therapy mat. Once the number was determined, then that child had to do the activity that many times. For example, trace you name in four different colors, jump seven times on the trampoline or roll eight play dough snowballs.

This got me thinking – how often does this realistically happen in life? Sometimes we are given several choices throughout our day or faced with daily options that are not too enjoyable. This tactic can help focus and conquer those great intentions.

Recently, I was working with kids that have oral defensiveness and the thought of trying new foods was completely adversive. By giving control to the child and working for something motivating, it made the task less overwhelming. For example: take x amount of bites of a new food to get a star. After 5 stars then that child gets to pick a game or meal.

This same concept can be applied to tasks that seem daunting on the everyday level. Such as when a task seems overwhelming visually – such as clutter and the ever daunting laundry pile. Instead of trying to tackle it all, jump in slowly. Set a timer for ten minutes and see how much you can accomplish before taking a break.

Do you throw yourself at a project and jump in? Or do you set self-paced breaks?

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