Executive Functioning Skills Training

Executive functioning (EF) skills are the abilities in our brain that help us complete everyday tasks. These skills are like the air traffic controller of our brain; reminding us when to use our many available skills to accomplish our daily tasks efficiently and successfully. These skills include: 

  • Planning
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Metacognition
  • Working memory
  • Self-control
  • Attention
  • Flexibility
  • Perseverance 

This air controller tells us to focus and really listen while someone is talking (attention) while reminding us to get started when we have an assignment due at the end of class (task initiation). When our executive functioning skills are not performing optimally, we simply cannot perform at our best. 

 

Why is it important to target executive functioning skills?

When we plan a project, organize our study materials,  refrain from interrupting when someone is speaking, or in most instances where we make choices, we are utilizing our executive functioning skills. These skills are foundational for success in school, relationships, and our everyday lives.

Can executive functioning skills be improved?

Yes! Through teaching and practicing executive functioning skills, our brains can be trained to improve basic skills like organization and self-control.

Kids and young adults can also learn valuable compensatory strategies to ease their struggles with staying organized, paying attention, and persevering through challenges –  These strategies provide immediate relief while building habits that can last a lifetime. 

Below are some simple, but effective, strategies in teaching and practicing executive functioning skills.