Charts are showing the work from the RS. It always confuses me when they have the “p on the WS, k on the RS”, but if I take a minute to look at the chart thinking of looking at the right side, and also look at a picture of the item that helps me to get the idea. In this case you see a lot of blank boxes, this tells you that you are working in St st so all the places you have the blank boxes you want the knit row on the outside and the return rows will be the purl back rows.
Always look carefully to see what the row numbers are dong. In some charts they only show the RS rows and they just tell you to work back all purl, or work as the stitches appear. Sue, did this first thing to see that the first row was the WS so needed to be read left to right. The right side rows are worked right to left. In the round all rows are read right to left.
Take time to study the key carefully. A SSK slants to the left so they use the \ to represent it. K2tog slants to the right, so they use the /. So it makes some sense if you realize that.
You can write things on your chart that help you. I sometimes like to write little numbers somewhere along a line of knits or purls so I don’t have to take time to count them as I work. You can see 3 boxes pretty easily without any counting, but 11 is not so easy to do without counting. Before I start I might count the long runs like that and write them in (enlarging your chart is a good idea), like 11, 13, etc. I don’t line the numbers up right under each other, because that makes them harder to read and easier to mix up, but move on to the left and the next to the right so they don’t blend into each other so much.
I color code more complex charts, but this one may not need it. Notice patterns in the way a chart works, for instance a chart may always have / (k2togs) on the right or left side of the chart, and on the left they are always \ (SSK). Noticing things like that help you stay on track as you work.
I use to hate charts too, but they get easier and you may finding yourself actually preferring them after a while.