Of all the skills I work to hone, the limiting factor I hit time and time again is that I wish I could read faster. I am not going to share one weird hack, or how I solved it. It is something I am still working on and will likely be for the rest of my life. Like many people who have shared their stories on LinkedIn I am dyslexic. I am thankfully only mildly so, but for me every sentence is a brute force attack of mental auto-complete where I am trying to anticipate the correct answer, rather than read the words on the page and expend the mental effort of wrangling sense from them.

The result of this constant struggle with written word is that I read at below average speed, something that makes everyday tasks a challenge. Reading road signs while driving, recipes for cooking, or even tackling my inbox takes longer than it should. Training material is a constant challenge and in an industry where books and articles are out of date by the time they go to print it is a steep treadmill to stay on top of it.

Almost bizarrely I do read for my own enjoyment; mostly science fiction and fantasy, but I have been part of a book club for the last 8 years who often force me out of my groove and make me try new genres. What keeps me reading is the joy of it, from deep involvement in characters and plot, to a fascination with the intricacies of my field. This year I have cracked 40 books and counting which is a personal best and the most I have read since I finished my degree.

Dyslexia is something that impacts a surprising number of people, as many as 1 in 10 people in the UK according to the NHS, and many notable individuals such as Albert Einstein and Richard Branson. Having dyslexia means I have to make things work for me, so I approach problems creatively, prioritizing my attention and automating tasks to maximize my time. Instead of getting bogged down by a discount emails, I can focus on the words I truly enjoy; now back to the bookclub books.