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Meetings: because I remember my diary as a picture, I have problems when a meeting is rescheduled, my mental image gets out of date and I arrive in the wrong place at the wrong time.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.