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. 

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