Dyslexia: How to Survive and Thrive at Work

 *This is a collaborative post*

As a condition for which there is no drug and therefore no monetization, dyslexia can fly very low under the radar insofar as medical research and general education goes. People with dyslexia will often similarly go unnoticed until such time as a task comes up that shines a light on their particular struggles and challenges. In a workplace setting it is particularly important for there to be total transparency so that everyone is fully aware of someone working with dyslexia and can make every effort to help ensure that structures are in place to help the person work comfortably and fulfil their potential.

This article will look at things from the perspective of the dyslexic individual, asking just what they can do to help them not only to survive, but to thrive at work.

Eat the frog

It might seem a bizarre concept, but essentially ‘to eat the frog’ means to get the worst thing on your to do list out of the way first thing – the idea being that if the worst thing you have to do in your day is to eat a live frog, the rest of the day will be plain sailing. Of course, around this idea you should also look to create well-structured day plans incorporating the following ideas:

Preparation  - a part of this will be deciding which of your day’s most important tasks is that pesky live frog

Focus two out of ten activities will yield 80% of results – just 20%. So hone your focus on your most important few tasks to become more efficient. Yes, that can mean ignoring the least significant items on your list.

Be methodical – by working through tasks one at a time, methodically you will be more successful and actually finish more quickly than if you juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.

Master key skills the key here is to make a very short list of the most essential skills required to master your most common daily tasks then make a little list of your weaknesses in this area and prioritize improving on them one by one.


Being open and upfront with your condition is not only important from the employer’s perspective – allowing them to research and make adjustments for you – it will also be beneficial for your mental health. The old adage ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is never truer than in this context.

Practical adjustments 

Never underestimate the percentage differences a few small adjustments to your workstation can make. Examples include:

Fonts certain fonts are easier on the dyslexic mind. The best examples are Arial and Comic Sans as these help words to seem less crowded.

Background colour changing the background to a different colour can reduce distraction levels. A cream background colour is recommended by the British Dyslexia Association.

Use more charts and diagrams – Transforming data and tables into charts and diagrams will result in a visual presentation more conducive to quick and effective absorption by people with dyslexia.

Remember, not everyone with dyslexia will benefit from exactly the same adjustments, but a combination of these tips will almost certainly help anyone with dyslexia survive and thrive in the workplace.

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