Friday, August 30, 2013

Chronically Miss Deadlines: Advice?

VISITORWould I be able to receive assistance with suggestions and or strategies
that I can utilize at work?  I process Equal Employment cases for the military.  The bulk of my job consists of case processing deadlines and I usually am not able to meet the deadlines.  Once I end up processing over four cases at a time I end up missing the deadlines.  Although, at the same time with processing complaints, I also work on customer service and administration case processing as well. Anyway, I just feel that I am unable to pull everything together and I am unable to be successful at work.  I am always behind/late and I have to put in many extra hours of work, on a daily bases, just to try to keep up with my work. I appreciate any assistance.

DYSCALCULIA.ORG: You've done a great job assessing your situation. 
You have some choices:
(a) ask for a job transfer with different responsibilities
(b) deliberately learn to use tools to make task management more efficient.
It could be that you are being asked to do too much in too little time.
This is common these days, as less people have to do more work.
But, how can you accomplish as much as possible in the time given?
Dyscalculia is a disability that limits your time management ability because you lack the awareness of how much time is going by.
To counter this problem, put clocks everywhere, and train yourself to look at them and make a verbal comment about what time it is and how that relates to your task list.
Use your smart phone, PC or tablet to to set up your schedule with audio reminders.
Limit distractions that interfere with you staying on task: visitors, chatting, email, web surfing, social media, phone calls, ....
Maybe come to work an hour early to get the most important things done before the office gets busy.
YOU CAN DO this! It will be difficult because it does not come naturally and will take a lot of effort to set up PRACTICES that ensure your efficiency.
Think about it. You can see, hear, move, smell...your timing "muscle" in your brain is weak. YOU have to strengthen it so it can be reliable! That takes exercising and practicing time management skills until they are automatic! It will be hard and take EFFORT but you can do it, just as a blind person can learn to walk around town without getting killed.
List all the tasks you are responsible for.
Break them into accomplishable steps.
Ask: Is there anyone else who could or should do this for me? (Are you doing everything yourself instead of getting help when you could?)
If someone were asking YOU for advice in managing this situation, what would you tell THEM? I know you would have great advice to give, so apply it to your own problem.
Remember this: Your brain will release chemicals that make your thinking and memory better if and when you are engaged in challenging but achievable tasks. When you are stressed, your brain releases cortisol that puts it into survival mode (fight, flight, or freeze modes) and shuts down the reasoning and memory centers.
AVOID STRESS because it interferes with your ability to do your job and be successful at work! Set up tasks so that they are pleasurable, accomplished as expected with effort, and experience the satisfaction of completing tasks successfully. Your brain will release dopamine = pleasure = more memory = positive attitude & expectations toward work = resilience = persistence in spite of challenges and errors = regular success = new pattern in brain of operating efficiently and expecting and achieving success and getting the pleasure that brings.
You can do this. No one can do it for you. Remember that everything you do is chemical. Efficient brain processing requires a perfect chemical  STATE, that we know as a good mood, positive attitude, challenges that are not too hard (= frustration) but not too easy (= boredom). When that STATE is present, your mind works at problem solving and memory storage and retrieval efficiently.
Let me know how you are going to tackle this.
I have this same disability and I'm speaking from experience. Where you are chronically late, you can train yourself to be chronically early! And "chron" means TIME! So set up your tasks in chronological order (to be done first, second, third) and assign time estimates to them. Set goals, and make it a game to meet them. When you find yourself in a rut of negativity, defeat, failure, tardiness, and frustration, STOP AND CHANGE YOUR MIND (this negative state will only result in more disaster!) Seriously, you need to take a break and go get happy! You need to reorganize your day so each task results in a happy outcome. Resolve to smile and triumph. Don't be defeated, ask for help. There's no shame in getting help to STAY in a POSITIVE STATE of mind. It is essential to doing your job well and being successful in life.
P.S. One more word about getting happy: Don't go for a alcoholic drink or a smoke or any other action that hinders your brain's ability to create that OPTIMAL STATE. Go for a walk, or a run, or visit with a friend or loved one, write a poem, paint a picture, thank God,  or do something refreshing for your body and spirit. Always be thinking about achieving that STATE of MIND that allows you to be in control of your world.