Trouble sequencing: Why some people do things out of order

By Gail Belsky

Expert reviewed by Ellen Braaten, PhD

Following simple steps in the correct order seems pretty basic. For example, it makes sense that when you cook an omelet, the butter goes in first, then eggs, then the cheese. Any other way and it’s a mess.

But for some people, knowing the sequence of steps in a task is hard, even when they’ve done that task before.

There are many reasons people struggle with doing things in the right order. Often, it’s because they have trouble with skills like organization and attention.

Trouble with sequencing isn’t a sign of laziness — or of not caring about doing a good job. It’s also not a matter of intelligence. It happens because of difficulty with specific skills.

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