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Improving Executive Functioning Skills

How good are you at time management, initiating difficult or boring tasks, maintaining concentration, recalling salient information, and prioritizing?  Chances are, you are like most people, and need some support and skills building in one or more of these areas.  We refer to these skills areas as executive functions (“EF”), which help us to make sense of what’s important, and how to get stuff done.   No one is born with EF skills, and therefore, everyone’s degree to implement EF skills into their daily life varies.  Moreover, people who may have difficulty with concentration due to ADHD (e.g., hyperactivity, inattention), Bipolar, depression, anxiety, trauma, or other symptoms can further experience challenge. 

The good news is that EF skills can be enhanced, and with it your confidence, and the efficiency and effectiveness in which your carry out tasks. 

Time Management Tips

  1. Identify the prioritization of the tasks.  Is this task “urgent” or “important.”  (Start with urgent tasks first).
  2. Of the tasks, start with the hardest or most boring one first.
  3. Plan which time of day you do your best work, and start then.
  4. Identify how long you can focus on the specific task.
  5. Break up the task into small “chunks.”
  6. Work up to your break.  If your mind starts to wonder, remind yourself how much better you’ll feel when you complete the task.
  7. Take frequent, but short breaks.
  8. Upon task completion, reward yourself.
  9. Keep your workspace organized.
  10. Limit multi-tasking and other distractions.