Welcome to 2014 and happy New Year!
Returning to work in the New Year is always a new experience. A new diary, a new calendar, a new rota at work…. Many things to manage and organise which for those with Dyslexia can be difficult.
So to help you, we have put together our most useful tips and strategies to help you keep organised and efficient in 2014.
Organisation is a process, not something that will be achieved and completed. Think of it as “being organised” or “staying organised” rather than “getting organised”.
Being organised optimises time, reduces stress and means that you will have more mental energy because you’re having fewer worries about forgetting something.
Choose a diary that has a day per page with the date written out in full and time slots. Use the bookmark so you know the day you’re on.
When taking notes or writing in your diary, try to draw images rather than words if it helps to remind you of the task at a later date.
Post it notes are your friends! They can be very useful to place on your door to remind you what you need to remember that day. Available in all the colours of the rainbow, perhaps you can have a different colour for each type of reminder? Green – household reminders, Red – work reminders, Yellow – Reminders for the children.
Highlighters should also be a close companion to you. Colour coding has been proven to help with organising as it makes notes pop out of the page and is attractive to the eye.
Put a notice board on your wall and use it to pin your important paperwork on. IE. A household bill that needs to be paid or a project dead line.
File your paperwork as you go. A small pile of paper work is much easier to manage and file away correctly than 6 months’ worth of paperwork. Filing cabinets are great if you know how to make them function for you. You may want to organise your files alphabetically or by category. The most important thing is to keep it simple and easy on the eye.
EFFICIENCY IN THE OFFICE
Don’t wait until you’re frazzled – schedule your breaks, no matter how brief they may be.
Stay on schedule. If you planned to take a 15 minute break at 12pm, you’d be better backing away from your desk at 12:01pm. The same goes for ending your breaks. Stay on time and you’ll find it easier to move in and out of your focused work mode without losing forward motion.
Taking down a phone message can be quite problematic to Dyslexics. Sometimes the telephone number ends up jumbled or you don’t quite get the message correct. It can quickly become a very stressful and frustrating task. Invest in a dictation machine. When taking messages, just press the record button and simply repeat their details as they say them and the information will be stored for you to listen back to and take note of the message in your own time.
There will always be the call you MUST take, a fire alarm in the building or a colleague who needs your help. Interruptions happen, so focus on managing them so they have less impact on your tasks.
Acknowledge the interruption – the best interruptions are the ones we see coming. The worst tend to open our door without knocking and spill coffee all over important papers. No matter the interruption, it’s not worth your time to get annoyed. Doing so will just make it that much harder to return to work once the interruption is over.
Bookmark your idea – In the moments after the phone rings for the first time or you’ve said “come in” to the person knocking at your office door, you have a chance to note exactly where you were before the interruption. Part of the interruption process is to have sticky notes available to hand before the phone rings or somewhere you can bookmark your idea.
Minimise your immediate involvement – Many interruptions require more than just a one word answer. Colleagues require more than just a discussion, they want an action. The trick of staying productive is to just schedule your action for a later time. If a colleague requires an immediate action, then say “I’ll have it for you in 20 minutes, when I’ve completed my own action”. Follow through with quality & others will respect you for setting your own boundaries.
There are many other strategies and software that can assist with Dyslexia. If you would like further information, please contact Freedom of Speech.