Organisation & Time Management: Most Dyslexics’ Second/Third Nightmare!

At a recent Dyslexia Scotland Adult Network (Stirling) Meeting, we were discussing how difficult it is to organise our lives and homes on top of jobs, studying and/or family life.

These problems are by no means limited to us dyslexics (but our non-linear [often nonverbal] brains don’t help matters). I have also recently joined some local stitching clubs, and it was a friend in one of these that gave me the following idea. She said that she rewards herself monetarily for the tasks she does each day.

I thought this was a great idea and started using her idea. I reward myself 1p for things like every page I read, every 30mins I walk, every item I iron, and every item I put away in a drawer or hang up (I used to have huge piles of clothes everywhere because I thought, I’d forget anything I couldn’t see).

The following is a photo of how I keep a record of what I have done each day:


I have found this can be a good way to plan out a day. Without having to time everything out (which is something I cannot do, I don’t seem to know how long things will/should take me to do). I have found if I am having trouble starting in the morning: I get the pad out and write out a table, listing the tasks I have been putting off or I know need doing. And then somehow it’s a wee bit easier to get started.

AND yes I know the lines aren’t straight! I gave up trying to use a ruler, it was just too much hassle. And it’s not like anyone else will need to see it (other than an outside chance I feel the need to show my husband).

Also, due to the fact that I also reward myself for every room I hoover, or every window I wash, or every piece of furniture I polish; I can keep track of how often and/or frequently I do these tasks, that aren’t daily tasks but need done on a semi regular basis. So, if I’m sitting thinking about when I last did a task, I can just flip back and get a definite answer.

I can see how some people may feel this is a bit like a child’s reward chart. But it works with kids doesn’t it? Why should we have to grow out of everything that helps! No one else needs to know. And it can be a way to save for treats that you otherwise cannot justify (I use 1ps because I’m temp and don’t always have a job: but the friend who told me about it uses other denominations [like 10p etc]).

Why not give this a go if you are having trouble organising your life. Perhaps if this doesn’t work for you, it might give you ideas about what else might help. Or if you use other techniques (or have other ideas) please comment below, we’d love to learn from your coping mechanisms.

Doreen Kelly

Admin Volunteer/DS Member


Published by Dyslexia Scotland

We encourage and enable people with dyslexia, regardless of their age and abilities, to reach their potential.

3 thoughts on “Organisation & Time Management: Most Dyslexics’ Second/Third Nightmare!

  1. If you are interested in finding out tips on dyslexia, Dyslexia Research Trust has a strategy sharing blog at I couldn’t find any posts on organisation and time management. But there are lots on other aspects of dyslexia, including recent ones on a Lego magazine and sensory overload.

  2. This idea might appeal to anyone who likes role play and needs to do some tidying at home!
    The idea is you go into role as a dyslexia house coach. The dyslexia house coach is a really positive, cheerful person, supportive and non-judgemental. They are the person you’d most like to have helping you and they can be someone you’ve never met e.g. your favourite actor. You help yourself to do whatever it is that needs done by pretending you are this coach.
    On a Sunday, decide on an hour in the week ahead and write it in your diary.
    Stick to the appointment as if you had made it with someone you respect i.e. only reschedule it if you absolutely have to.
    Decide what you are going to work on with the dyslexia house doctor.
    Look out self-help resources that are going to help you with it e.g. books with post-its on the relevant pages.
    When the day comes of your appointment, 20 minutes before the hour is due to start, change into clothes suited to the work you are going to do.
    Pack a bag you like with the self-help resources in it that you chose and any other clothing you’ll need e.g. a pinnie (apron).
    Leave your home and walk away from your door for 5 minutes. Then walk back to your home.
    Ring the doorbell and let yourself in.
    Go into the room which you want to work at.
    Say ‘hello …’ (and say your own name).
    Then change position to face the (imaginary) house doctor and say ‘hello … and say the name of whoever you’ve chosen to be your imaginary coach, thanks for coming to help me’.
    Set one timer for 1 hour and another timer for 15 minutes.
    Take the role of coach again and ask yourself what you need help with.
    Consult your self-help resources, identify 3 action points, and write them down.
    Decide which order to do them in. Start doing the first task.
    If you complete it, go onto the next task.
    Work in 3 15-minute stints, followed by a 5-minute break.
    As the house coach, give yourself encouragement.
    Don’t worry if you don’t complete the 1st action point. The important thing is to stay calm, focused on the task and to keep working through each 15-minute stint.
    When your hour timer goes off, stop. Your coach has to catch a bus.
    Thank your coach and say goodbye. Write in your diary the hour he / she will visit the following week. If your coach hasn’t met your expectations, give him / her one point to improve on the following week.
    Congratulate yourself for what you’ve achieved and reward yourself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: