Leading on from my Part 1 blog, here is a list of my top 5 tips, that I want to share, in the hope that it might help other people.
My Top 5 Tips
- Technology – I love Grammarly. My work pays for me to have the premium edition, which is great, but even the free version I think is excellent as it works across so many different platforms. Plus, I know there are other similar pieces of software out there, so use the one that you like the best. I also use voice notes and audio readers. Like everything it is trial and error to find the software that you like the best. The only piece of advice I would give, is don’t get overloaded with different plugins, apps or software as you might find you then get overwhelmed. I would say find two or three that you enjoy using and help you in whatever task it is you are trying to achieve, if it doesn’t then don’t use it, just delete it and move on. Technology really is the dyslexic’s best friend.
2. Alarms – I struggle with time, still to this day I don’t understand why there is 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour, why isn’t it 100 it would make life so much easier? It wouldn’t surprise anyone that I was a late developer when it came to being able to tell the time! Anyway, I can easily forget about time, or how long something is going to take. So, I often write down when I need to leave and then try and work back the way. I also set alarms to remind me when I need to leave the house.
3. Taking notes – I am a prolific note-taker in meetings, as I know I might not remember what was discussed once the meeting is over. Also, now that so many meetings are over zoom or teams, I sometimes ask for it to be recorded so that I can listen back to it. Which alleviates the pressure to write and listen at the same time.
4. Regular breaks & rest – This is something that I have got better at as I get older. As I understand my brain better, and when it is going to function at its best. If I am tired I find writing copy extremely challenging, which then leads me to be frustrated and develop negative feelings as to why I cannot do this. So now, depending on how I am feeling, I will re-organize my to-do list so that I can maximize my brain energy for that day. I have no problem with numbers, I can work on them even if my brain is tired.
5. Ask for help – Now, this is one I still struggle with, as I have always thought it was a sign of weakness, but actually, it is the opposite. When I have asked for help, and usually it is around proof checking, everyone is always happy to help. And by doing this one small step it makes my life so much easier, and at the end of the day I also know the content I am then producing is perfect, so a win-win for everyone.
Full disclosure, this blog took me about two months to write. Not because I am lazy, but because I procrastinated over it. As I was putting off the feelings that came with me writing about my dyslexia, however, the more I write about it, the easier it becomes. Also, here is a list of the tools I utilized to write this blog:
- Voice notes
- Text to Speech software
- One supportive husband
- Helen, who kindly proof-read the blog
There probably are spelling or grammar mistakes in this article, but this is me, and I have done my best to minimise mistakes. I am hoping that if you do notice any mistakes, it does not take away from the message I want to communicate which is: If you are dyslexic, you have amazing potential and an incredibly unique skill set and if you have an employer that does not harness them and support you, then it is their mistake, because in the right culture and environment, you will thrive. Trust me.
P.S Do you think we could put together a petition to get a word that is easier to spell or an abbreviation for dyslexia? It is such a faff to remember how to spell it. I mean, come on; the spelling of the name does not exactly support our strengths!
Lindsay Miller, Dyslexia Changemaker