Executive Functioning: Manage your time better in six easy steps

By: Suzanne Feinstein, PhD

Do you have a difficult time adhering to the plans you set for yourself? Are your ideas bigger than your motivation to execute them? Do your inspirations generally lead you on a path to nowhere? If this sounds like you, you may have an executive functioning disorder.

A combination of cognitive behavior therapy and executive coaching skills can help you become more of a self-starter. Follow these six simple steps for better planning and time management.

1. Restructure your work environment

By restructuring your work environment, you can break through obstacles, have fewer distractions, and better keep track of your information and materials. Environmental supports such as posting daily schedules, color-coded folders, and visual timers can aid in improving executive functioning skills.

2. Break down tasks 

For better time management, break down tasks into manageable steps using daily planners and simple technology. Define and achieve your goals by applying selective attention techniques. Make the best use of your time, stay on task and meet your targeted deadlines using these step-by-step approaches. 

3. Think before you act

Before jumping into a task, plan out your goals, stop interruptions, and prioritize. Resist any short-term temptations that will steal your focus and knock you off track. Practicing impulse control will help you make better decisions, regulate your emotions and exercise self-discipline and restraint in the face of preferred activities. 

4. Practice flexibility 

When something unanticipated happens, learn how to pivot your thinking and your goals. Mental flexibility in a changing environment allows you to find the next best strategy with ease. Also, shifting easily between tasks is a crucial component in performing daily activities with high level functionality. 

5. Regulate your emotions 

Staying positive, managing physical symptoms of anxiety, and reducing emotional triggers are all crucial in optimizing your functionality. Responding appropriately instead of reacting emotionally is key to maintaining positive momentum in daily tasks. 

6. Plan and organize 

Create a plan for yourself, prioritize each step, and organize whatever materials you require to follow through on your goals. In order to plan effectively, it is important to be able to clearly articulate and visualize your target goals.

People who have the following struggle with executive dysfunction:

  • ADHD
  • OCD
  • Learning disabilities
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

If you or someone you know is struggling with executive functioning difficulties, please call us at 646-345-3010. Our professional will teach you various methods to assist you in reaching your goals, big and small. 

Recent Posts

Catastrophic Thinking

Catastrophic thinking, also known as catastrophizing, is a distorted thinking style in which an individual tends to automatically imagine the worst possible outcomes of a situation or event or assumes situations to be much worse than they actually are. Although...

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that falls under the broader category of cognitive-behavioral therapies. ACT was developed by Steven C. Hayes in the late 1980s and has gained popularity as an effective approach for helping...

Scrupulosity OCD: An overview of symptoms and treatment

Scrupulosity OCD refers to a specific subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) where individuals experience persistent and intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that revolve around religious, moral or ethical concerns. People with this type of OCD often...

Postpartum OCD: Symptoms and Treatment

Postpartum OCD, also known as postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder or PPOCD, is a subtype of postpartum depression that affects some 3% to 5% of new mothers, and can be triggered by a sudden fluctuation of hormones, typically within the first few weeks to months...

Fear of Flying

The fear of flying, known as aviophobia or aerophobia, is a common anxiety disorder that affects many people worldwide. This fear can vary in severity, ranging from mild discomfort and anxiety to a debilitating phobia that prevents individuals from traveling by air...

How to Put Binge Eating Disorder to BED

Impulse control disorders are characterized by difficulty in resisting the temptation to engage in behaviors that are harmful to oneself or others. Binge eating behaviors can be a manifestation of such disorders. Binge eating disorder (BED) is a recognized psychiatric...

What Causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

For some people, anxiety crops up in response to a specific situation, like meeting a deadline or navigating a hectic roadway. This is not necessarily a cause of concern as it does not result in interference with everyday functioning or a significant decrease in one's...

Emetophobia: A Specific Phobia Based Around Vomit

Emetophobia, the fear of vomiting, is a specific phobia affecting an estimated 3.1% to 8.8% of the population, according to the National Institutes of Health. This specific phobia can have a profound impact on an individual's life. It can lead to constant anxiety and...

How Cognitive Therapy Can Help You Manage Trichotillomania

When we talk about identifying anxiety and the need for treatment, we tend to focus on symptoms of generalized anxiety. These can include things like irritability, nervousness, difficulty breathing, and more. What if your anxiety is masked by one persistent behavior?...

Can’t make up your mind? You may have Decidophobia.

It is common for people to feel anxiety around making certain decisions, especially if these are high stakes decisions or they have made poor decisions in the past. In fact, a certain amount of anxiety around decision-making is healthy and can save us from acting on...

Are You Ready To Transform Your Life?

Schedule a free 15-minute consultation