Dyslexia and Time Management

ClockAs a Dyslexic, I have struggled with issues common to many Dyslexics. One of those problems is time management. We tend to live in the moment, not great at schedules and struggle with the sequences important to organizing our time.

When I was in my twenties I could never be on time and either was almost or was late getting to work or school. Friends would invite me over for dinner and ask me to show up an hour earlier than they expected me because they knew I would be an hour late. Very embarrassing.

Eventually I decided to change this bad habit when a friend told me not being on time was disrespectful. I wasn’t caring about the people’s valuable time I was planning to meet.

My approach to recognizing and to manage my problem was to address how my mindset, typical of Dyslexics, got in the way and how to work with it. My main issue with being on time was how I thought about the time to be someplace, say 5pm. I didn’t think about what was involved in getting there.  I just thought about 5pm and often totally forgot about going. Shortly before I was due to arrive was when I thought about getting ready. Aarrghh! Late again.

Some of the most effective changes I made were:

I take the time I’m supposed to arrive, subtract the drive or walk time, subtract the amount of time to get ready and add an extra half hour to force myself to prepare.

For example:  If I was due somewhere at 5pm, I would subtract the driving time, say  30 minutes, subtract getting ready – another 30 minutes and time to be distracted – 30 minutes so I needed to start getting ready around 3pm.

5:00 pm - Arrive
4:30 pm - Drive
4:00 pm - Get ready
3:30 pm - Think about getting ready and stop whatever I was doing
3:00 pm - Be aware of being somewhere at 5:00pm

These days I keep a datebook and actually look at it to remember I have to go somewhere and think to myself  “3:00 not 5:00”.

To keep myself on track I use a timer. I will start the timer at noon to go off at 3:00 and use it again to time the 30 minutes to get ready.

This sounds a little complicated but it works. What I’m emphasizing is figure out what time to start to get somewhere on time, not the time you have to be there. This is especially helpful with getting to work on time.

For more ideas on managing Dyslexia check us out at Dyslexia Victoria Online