The Dyscalculia Forum
July 31 2014 09:25 AM





Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.

Forum Threads

Member Poll

Do you tell people that you have dyscalculia?

You must login to vote.

Users Online

· Guests Online: 8

· Members Online: 0

· Total Members: 6,054
· Newest Member: directionallyimpaired

View Thread

 Print Thread
Time management needs improvement
#1 Print Post
Posted on June 26 2008 04:17 PM

Location: Scotland
Posts: 51

Joined: 2008-06-24

A huge part of this LD for me is not being able to manage time properly - how about everyone else?

I have always had this problem. When keeping personal appointments, I am either chronically late or more than twenty minutes early. There seems to be a big area of time around the time of the appointment which is invisible to me.

My last job was an executive position in a small company. It was hectically busy, and I had a reputation for being disorganised. The filing system was numeric, so I preferred to keep relevant files on my desk and tried to avoid filing at all costs; which in turn meant my desk was piled up with papers and folders. I often missed call backs because I lost track of time, or missed my lunch hour because I didn't realise that it was time to eat. And my MD pulled me up more than once for my time management "issues" - at that point I had not idea it could be related to my 'numeric dyslexia'.

We put every type of time management stategy into place. I had a big page per day diary, a desk planner, a wall calendar, my Outlook had Journalling switched on and our CRM software had built in time management features. We synched task lists. It was all supposed to help me cope. It all failed - miserably. I failed utterly to 'manage' time; I felt overwhelmed, and my boss put the pressure on.

About August last year the MD shifted a big job onto me, a group deal for a client, managing multiple sites to a tight deadline, and I admit I panicked. The job got done, but 'careless mistakes' were made - except they weren't, I had checked the figures to the best of my ability - they were still wrong. I got pulled up yet AGAIN for time management, my MD chose to believe that I didn't put the time into doing the job and revoked a holiday so I could work on the project. So it all had to be done again in an even shorter timescale! It was the end for me. I couldn't explain at that point why I wasn't able to keep to the agreed schedule... I suffered stress, my hair started to fall out, and my GP urged me to leave the job immediately. I limped onward with the company, having had periodical and increasingly disapproving reviews of my timekeeping and work, and finally quit in January when I was told that I could face charges of gross misconduct over my perceived lack of commitment and my ineffective time management.

The thing is, I don't believe that there is any more I could have done - I couldn't force myself to become more organised, at least not at that point when I couldn't arm myself with knowledge of my LD. My brain doesn't work the same way as my colleagues (who I was often compared to) and I simply can't process schedules with any degree of efficiency. It's a constant struggle to fit tasks into my day in a way which I find manageable.

So I was wondering how everyone else copes with time management in their working lives and what strategies you have developed to help with this issue. I doubt I'll ever go back to that type of job again, but I could do with some help - and then if I even do meet my ex-boss, I can tell him exactly what he did wrong with regard to helping me. Grin
#2 Print Post
Posted on June 26 2008 04:38 PM

Location: Scotland
Posts: 1229

Joined: 2006-11-16

Hey TigerFeet, woohoo another Scot Grin

Right i can only tell time using a digital watch not an anoglue watch, everyone think's its hilarious as when i forget to put it on i am completely lost. I can however tell the time using a "normal" clock but its a bit hard at times. I can keep track of time and have a good memory for this. However like you i am either late or early for appointments. I keep appointments in 4 different diaries. I also have 2 calenders in my room so i know what i am doing when. One calander is for work and the other is appointments or meetings etc. They are both side by side so i can not, not look at them.
#3 Print Post
Posted on June 26 2008 04:49 PM

Location: Texas USA
Posts: 6315

Joined: 2008-05-25

Dear Tigerfeet,
Your posting was so good that I've saved it to a word document on my computer. I don't want to loose it.

What you've written is a testament to your perseverance. Ironically, whenever I've quit a job (to keep from being fired, or due to pressure to improve) this goes against us, in the eyes of many as a lack of 'sticktoativeness', which, of course couldn't be further from the truth.

It's amazing that you were able to keep that job under that pressure for any length of time at all. What a loss for the company that they wouldn't let you do what you COULD do (which I'm sure would have been a big asset to the company) and instead insisted on such a heavy work load until it was 'backbreaking' to you. I've seen this happen even to people without any LD, and I think that the greed of the whole financial system is wringing every last drop out of every employee.

I don't know the solution, but thanks for expressing the problem so eloquently.
P.S. What's a MD and what's a GP, in this scenario?
Edited by justfoundout on June 26 2008 04:54 PM
#4 Print Post
Posted on June 26 2008 08:10 PM

Location: Scotland
Posts: 51

Joined: 2008-06-24

In this particular case, the MD was my Managing Director, who ran the company with his wife as Financial Director; and the GP is my General Practitioner, my everyday doctor. The Financial Director took great pains to tell me how good I was with clients, but that she was 'deeply worried' about my timekeeping. What could I say but that I would try harder... and I did, until trying harder just wasn't good enough anymore...

Just so you know, I stayed in that job for three and a half years. Whew! Shock

Hi Laura! Nice to know that I'm not the only discalculic in fair Alba. Do you ever find people get a bit disapproving if you can't do maths in your head? I can't count (obviously Grin) the number of times older people have tutted and sighed at me, "You young yin, whit are they teachin' ye in school, when I was wee ye would've got the belt for not knowing that!" Wink
Edited by Tigerfeet on June 26 2008 09:09 PM
#5 Print Post
Posted on June 27 2008 02:22 PM

Location: That would require me to know where I was
Posts: 429

Joined: 2008-06-08

I'm chronically early to avoid being late. I can't manage "on time". It's either early or late and I go with early to avoid being late. It sounds like maybe you had too many systems going on? Keeping track of all of them would be a job in and of itself. Maybe just stick to one? I find outlook to be pretty effective. Since you're good with clients, maybe if you go back into that field, you could get an assistant to help you with the time/organizational aspects.

Yes, people are definitely kind of mean if you can't do the math in your head. I've been laughed at for it (friends & family) and as a cashier at a fast food place in a part-time job during high school, a customer got very disgruntled when he changed the amount he gave me at the last minute which meant the change display on the register wasn't valid any more. At another cashier job in college, the manager taught us how to count back change, which was helpful. It saved me having to go for the paper & subtract.

Have you been diagnosed? I don't know what the law in the UK is, but here in the US, the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to those who have been diagnosed.

Personally, I find work environment makes a huge difference. In my current job, I have the same phone, computer & my own office where I can shut the door whenever I need/want to. At my old job, I was constantly changing computers/phones and spent most of the day in an open area with several people & mutliple conversations going on. Even when I was in an office I shared with one other person, we were discouraged from closing the door and the noise from the open area would filter in. It's so much easier to get work done & focus in my current environment. It was a major challenge doing so in the other work environment.
Edited by Lostinspatial on June 27 2008 02:25 PM
#6 Print Post
Posted on June 27 2008 07:16 PM

Location: Scotland
Posts: 1229

Joined: 2006-11-16

Hey TigerFeet heehee!! yes back in the day the strap would of been given etc etc etc blah blah balh heehee Grin

I am glad you have found the forum Grin
#7 Print Post
Posted on July 03 2010 06:24 AM

Location: No value
Posts: 1

Joined: 2010-07-03

nice discussion thanks for sharing!!

Staff Time Management
Arwen Evenstar
#8 Print Post
Posted on July 03 2010 06:40 AM
User Avatar


Location: NYC
Posts: 221

Joined: 2009-10-16

My time management skills suck, basically.

I've trained myself to be early for appointments and such but left to my own devices? Yea, I'm late. I have no sense of time, and I always have to wear a digital wristwatch or check my cell otherwise I'm lost.

When I worked at that kid's party place, the nasty general manager would always ream me out for miscounting the time (the events were timed so we'd let the kids play in the room with the toys and inflatables for an hour, then the next hour was being served food) and taking too long to clean up.

Yea. good times.
#9 Print Post
Posted on July 04 2010 09:25 PM

Location: No value
Posts: 27

Joined: 2007-12-31

My time managment is not good at all. I don't know if I am dyscalculic but I am dyslexic, and this seems like one of those areas where they cross over anyway.

I totally agree about only useing analoge watches, I don't use 24 hour ones either, only 12 hour. I CAN tell the time with other watches and clocks, but it takes quite a bit more thought (and time) to work it out.

I also set all my clocks fast or other people do this for me. I then think I am late and tend to be more likly to turn up on time.

Organisation wise, I used to use an A4 filofax, it comes with a day planner and month overview. I have dayly to do lists in there, and when at university I had a colour coded copy of my time table and a map of the campus. I had my address book at the back and a coloured overlay to help my reading.

I could keep CDs and pens in it, memory sticks, stickers for colour coding my notes, as well as all my weekly lecture and class notes.

In the evening I'd open it out to show the week, and take any new appiontments from it to add to my wall calendar. I would leave it open in a prominent place so I could see what was going on easily.

I get my stuff ready every night before bed to save time in the mornings, and if I have several things to remeber I write a to do list which goes on top of my clothes so I have to see it in the morning.

I use a series of alarms, one to wake me up, one to get me out of bed, and one to get me out of the shower.

I have a kitchen timer, which I use for cooking, exam praptice and makeing sure I do things in the house on time. So if I say I am going to spend 30 minuets playing PC games it doesn't turn into an hour and distract me from things like feeding myself or uni work.

A lot of it comes down to routeen, so you do it without thinking. I also do things like always do the washing on a thursday, so it is the same every week. It's hard when you start, and once a year I need to sort out my system as I start to slip a little and get sloppy towards the holidays. However once you get used to it, then you can actually seem very efficient.

But you must stick with it, start with small changes and build up gradually.

Currently I use a smaller A5 filofax, with address book and my work contacts, a map of how to get to work and the opening times. Then I have a seperate A5 note book for to do lists or writing down importaint information, like how to sell gift cards or where we keep the stampsor notes about art stuff I want to buy, and other hobby related activities.

I don't really have any paperwork in my current job, so the old filofax isn't neccisary. However for a buisness person or student an A4 filofax is ideal.

For now though just using a diary with adress book and a seperate note book might be a good way to get used to organisational aids and the habit of using them.

Alarms though are a must, my mobile can be set to vibrate only and hold 3-4 alarm setting at once, so it could easily be used in an office with discretion. Or like in Arwin's case, you could set them for the times for each activity and carrythe phone in your pocket.

Something else I would generally recomend is a pocket spell checker/thusoras/ can wip it out for mental maths problems. I use it under the edge of the counter so customers can't see.

I have to hand write things for display too, so the spell checker is's like my Learning Difficulty swiss army knife. Most staff just think I am really organised and pedantic about things. Smile

If only they knew how I was without this stuff...
Edited by BubblewrapPrincess on July 04 2010 09:29 PM
#10 Print Post
Posted on July 04 2010 09:37 PM

Location: United States
Posts: 171

Joined: 2009-11-29

Using an alarm to know when to get out of the shower- what a great idea! I don't have as much trouble with time management as other dyscalculics, but I do loose time in the shower. I'll have to try that.

I know what you mean about telling time on analog clocks too. I can usually figure them out, but it takes some effort.
Edited by Nissa on July 04 2010 09:40 PM
#11 Print Post
Posted on July 04 2010 11:21 PM

Location: Texas USA
Posts: 6315

Joined: 2008-05-25

What you're teaching us about, Bubble, is how to be self-disciplined. Whatever aids we use, nothing works for anyone without self-discipline. So, congratulations on not only finding things that 'work' for you, but continuing to use those methods.

I have a dyscalculic friend here in Texas who is working the dreaded night shift, taking care of teen-agers at an Institution. She's a Social Worker. She told me yesterday that she bought a small 'file folder' (with the divisions for separating papers), and that she took this and a box of papers to work with her. While her charges were sleeping, she went through that box of papers and sorted them in her small file. Then, when she got home, she took them out and put them in her large file drawer. This only took a minute, since everything was already sorted. I was glad for her that she'd taken advantage of her time, so that her papers were in order. - jus'
#12 Print Post
Posted on August 06 2010 07:31 AM

Location: No value
Posts: 1

Joined: 2010-08-06

I know what you mean about telling time on analog clocks too. I can usually figure them out, but it takes some effort.

employee time software
#13 Print Post
Posted on August 06 2010 07:55 PM
User Avatar


Location: Canada
Posts: 120

Joined: 2009-12-08

P.S.. thx to you Wink

I started using a timer function on my Iphone for lunches and stuff where i only have so long to do something.. It's awesome!! thx for the idea of timers. Wink
You May not Live, But you will Die.
#14 Print Post
Posted on August 27 2010 05:56 PM

Location: No value
Posts: 5

Joined: 2010-08-05

I have had HUGE issues with this my whole life.

I was reflecting on this story yesterday, as I drove home from Uni/work because of some events that transpired earlier in the week.

BTW, I work in linguistics at a university, to give you some background on the story.

I was in the office, which is pretty much a general use office for all of the people who work on the project I am involved in. It was near the end of the workday, and there was a janitor out in the hall who peeked into the office as I was leaving, to ask me what time it was. I told him it was roughly 5:30 and he looked at me weird and said, "wow, 2 hours flew by like nothing!"

There is an analog clock in the office, and I thought "oh, I've gotten good enough at this that I'll be able to give a rough estimate of the time, I don't need to refer to my phone for the exact digital time..."

Wrong! It was actually 4:25, and to complicate matters, the clock in the office is set 15 minutes fast, I found out. As I was looking for my keys, I saw my phone's screensaver time display. I ran back into the hall where the janitor was packing up his cleaning stuff and getting ready to leave, and I told him, "Dude, I am so sorry. It's really 4:25. I am so bad at telling the time on an analog clock. I just can't seem to get it right...ever!"

His response was so great that I never want to forget it:

he laughed and said "oh, meja, it's OK. I wouldn't know my right from my left if you had a gun to my head, and I can't tell time either, which is why I ask other people who can all the time. It's so funny to see such educated people with that same problem."

I couldn't help it. I just hugged him. I said, "Dyscalculia", and we laughed together. He said, "yeah, meja, that's what they said I had when I was in school." I was stunned.

Yesterday, he came down the hall and asked me what time it was again, and I said "well, man, it's like 4:15 or 3:20, take your pick" and he laughed with me.

It's good to have allies.

#15 Print Post
Posted on November 23 2011 01:56 PM
User Avatar


Location: Munising, MI, USA
Posts: 848

Joined: 2010-10-09

My time management is terrible. I've been known to misread my digital watch. If I don't write it down, I'll forget. My planner is color-coded and always with me. It's small enough to go from my binder to my violin case to my purse, yet big enough for me to write down everything.

When I schedule classes, I try to go for consistency, always having a class at the same times each day with the same lunch and practice times each day. This doesn't always happen, but I can usually get close.

Having an understanding supervisor also helps a great deal, but that doesn't always happen, either.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
#16 Print Post
Posted on December 09 2011 04:23 AM

Location: Wandering the face of the Earth...
Posts: 39

Joined: 2011-10-27

squeakymonster wrote:
My time management is terrible. I've been known to misread my digital watch. If I don't write it down, I'll forget. My planner is color-coded and always with me. It's small enough to go from my binder to my violin case to my purse, yet big enough for me to write down everything.

When I schedule classes, I try to go for consistency, always having a class at the same times each day with the same lunch and practice times each day. This doesn't always happen, but I can usually get close.

Having an understanding supervisor also helps a great deal, but that doesn't always happen, either.

Hey, squeaky, have you thought of trying an analog watch by any chance? It works for me, because I can "see" the time better via the hand angles better than I can read the digital face. Just a thought...
Edited by TheGreyMan on December 09 2011 04:24 AM

Unnoticed since the '90s
#17 Print Post
Posted on December 09 2011 10:34 PM

Location: No value
Posts: 217

Joined: 2010-09-08

The book ADD-friendly Ways to Organize Your Life was mentioned on this forum over the summer. Purchased a used copy and am incorporating the author's recommendations into my family's daily life. This book has helped us quite a bit even though we are not ADD.

The book will not teach you how to read a clock or tell time. It discusses strategies to manage time and promotes understanding. I definitely appreciate this book when dealing with DS.
#18 Print Post
Posted on March 01 2012 01:48 AM
User Avatar


Location: No value
Posts: 15

Joined: 2012-02-21

Wow, same here, im so disorginised, i totally cant manage time!

#19 Print Post
Posted on March 01 2012 03:30 AM
User Avatar


Location: Munising, MI, USA
Posts: 848

Joined: 2010-10-09


I just saw your post (the thread must have gotten reburied). I have tried analog watches, and I can read them, but I kept misreading them, as well. I guess my problem is more than just misreading a digital or analog, it's my brain must not process what my eyes read.
I'm NOT lost, I'm just taking the scenic rout!
Jump to Forum:

Similar Threads

Thread Forum Replies Last Post
Difficult time Living With Dyscalculia 7 April 09 2014 07:45 AM
Time to make it official Getting diagnosed 24 January 20 2014 08:52 PM
I failed my GED a third time. Education 9 December 11 2013 03:32 PM
Second time in Two weeks! Education 6 October 02 2012 06:32 PM
Telling the time - ideas for teaching a 14 yr old Living With Dyscalculia 7 June 28 2012 12:46 PM