Autopilot again, a silly thing this time

Most of the time, when I see people talking about executive function problems in the form of autopilot/habit fail, it’s things like “I put sugar on my toast and butter in my tea instead of the other way around,” or “I started putting my shoes on to go out the door but I hadn’t put my pants on yet,” things like that.

My most common and most annoying autopilot fail is clicking the wrong button on the computer. Examples:

  • assuming whichever button is on the left is “agree” or “ok” when actually it’s “cancel”, I hate websites/programs that switch that around
  • intending to click on something in the toolbar of the browser (like “refresh” or “back”) and instead clicking something at the top of the web page
  • or vice versa
  • within one toolbar or menu, clicking whatever I click most often instead of what I needed to click
  • clicking on an icon that looks superficially similar to the one I intended to click on (tumblr versus twitter, anyone?)
  • clicking on the location where some thing usually is, but it’s not there (dear programs that re-order things based on what you’ve used most recently: stop)
  • using a keyboard shortcut that belongs to a different program
  • typing the correct password… for a different website

The worst is when I do something wrong and then have to wait an interminably long time for the wrong thing to start up or load before I can get to what I actually wanted to do.


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