DyslexicProfessional.com - Dyslexia at work

Calendar management… “Sorry, what meeting?”

I have a feeling that I’ll be writing about calendars quite a lot.

I have huge problems being in the right place at the right time and, despite having a PA, I seem to spend a disproportionate amount of effort grappling with my “special” relationship with time.

What do I mean? I understand time best when I can see or imagine it as a picture. So a written agenda with dates and times is of little help – too abstract. Equally, an email asking of I can meet at 10am on the 15th of March might as well be in another language! Worse still would be a conversation about dates. Like many dyslexics, there are other problems… 24 hour clocks… me… multiple time zones… etc

There is one positive – I’m a good planner – because I have a strong mental image of time I can “walk through” possible scenarios very rapidly and in some detail – so my plans usually work well. In my work, I often advise organisations on the delivery of complex change – so this does give me a real advantage.

However, there is no doubt that managing calendars and meetings provides a few challenges. Some of the biggest are:

  • Frequent Diary Changes: My diary is updated 10 or 15 times a day, by inbound meeting requests, changes to existing appointments etc. So a lot can go wrong.
  • Geography & Logistics: I frequently visit clients in other parts of the country, or occasionally overseas and live some distance away from my office and clients – so plenty of logistics to build in. (don’t get me started on reading timetables correctly!)
  • Moving Meetings: because I remember my diary as a picture, I have problems when a meeting is rescheduled, my mental image gets out of date and I arrive in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Personal Calendar vs Work Calendar: Like many people, I have trouble balancing work and personal life. However, I also have real practical problems ensuring that my personal calendar is in sync with my work calendar – so often end up double booked or simply too far from home on the wrong day.
  • Client Calendars: And just occasionally, a client decides to give me an email account and calendar within their organisation – so something else to synchronise!

I have found some solutions that work for me so will write another post in a few days, in case they are of use to others.

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  1. […] is the second of two posts on diary and calendar management.  The first post sets out the key issues and this one describes some of my solutions.  Almost all of what I have written below could be as […]

    • 25 October 2012    

      I’m using a Meeting rule, in which I’ve selected PC Sync (since I sync with otuolok on my pc), ticked Only for Busy’ items’ and put * for matching any event. The idea of course is to activate the rule whenever I’m in any Busy’ meeting (e.g. not for a free event like a birthday etc). The problem is, it seems to activate for Free calendar events as well. Is this just a limitation of the app or am I doing something wrong?

  2. 25 October 2012    

    Am I doing something wrong? I have a rule to actvtaie a vibrate rule on all calendar items (*) marked as busy. The rule actvtaies fine when the meeting starts, but does not deactvtaie at the end of the meeting. I would assume that it should. PS I’m using it on a Droid.

    • 21 November 2012    

      Thanks Tahira for this post which, as a dyslexic, is of isertent to me. I do feel that we need to strike a balance though between the old idea of dyslexia as a learning difficulty and a more inclusive idea that individuals with the gift of dyslexia are at a distinct learning advantage. In the book The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the dyslexic Brain’ two neurolearning experts reveal the hidden benefits of having a dyslexic brain.In this paradigm-shifting book, neurolearning experts Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide describe an exciting new brain science that reveals that people with dyslexia have unique brain structure and organization. While the differences are responsible for certain challenges with literacy and reading, the dyslexic brain also gives a predisposition to important skills, and special talents.While we dyslexics typically struggle to decode the written word, we often also excel in such areas of reasoning as mechanical (required for architects and surgeons), interconnected (artists and inventors); narrative (novelists and lawyers), and dynamic (scientists and business pioneers). The Dyslexic Advantage provides the first complete portrait of dyslexia.With much-needed prescriptive advice for parents, educators, and dyslexics, The Dyslexic Advantage provides the first complete portrait of dyslexia. Supporting their claims with groundbreaking science and interviews with successful dyslexics and innovative teachers, the authors of this essential book show how the unique strengths of dyslexia can be captured for success at home, at school, and at work.Maybe, just maybe, the rigid I am right you are wrong’ linear way that our educational institutions are set up might be the real problem? Rather that support services to help us cope with the rigid requirements of the institutions it might be an idea to find innovative and creative ways of realising our dyslexic talents? I think Sir Ken Robinson might have some thoughts on that and if not him them Edward De Bono will.

      • 20 February 2013    

        I dont like the way they call Dyslexia is a disability . I think my brain is wired dfrleientfy in a way which doesn’t favour reading and writing. However I believe it has vastly improved my other logic skills. Infact when I did my dyslexia test I finished all logic questions / tasks under time. There was meant to be enough questions to last the 2 mins given to answer them. I answered them all correctly with time to spare.Then came the reading tasks. lol. That was a shambles.

        • Josh Steed Josh Steed
          30 September 2014    

          I agree that categorising dyslexia as a disability is a bad idea, as it is likely to unnecessarily pathologise individuals.

          The same goes for Asperger’s and many other clinical diagnosis – we all think and learn differently, these are not clinical conditions as the DSM would have us believe, rather they are natural variations in the way our brains function.

          Consider though – the prefix “dys-” has more negative connotations (bad, ill, abnormal) than the prefix “dis-” (lack of)

          The DSM refers to Dyslexia as a “learning disorder” – I think this is worse than disability
          http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/Specific%20Learning%20Disorder%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

  1. Some thoughts on managing my diary – a personal perspective on dyslexia on 25 June 2012 at 9:13 pm

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