Master Your Executive Functioning Skills With An EFC Coach
Executive functioning skills can be critical in today’s virtual learning environment. Luckily, we are here to help learning for students with executive function deficits become easier.
What Are Executive Functioning Skills?
Executive Functioning skills are the skills that we use to set a goal, make a plan, and then do the steps needed to complete the plan and meet the goal.
As our world grows in advancement, the distractions grow at an equal, sometimes, greater pace. With or without a specific executive functions disorder, training executive functions skills is important in problem solving, expressing/controlling emotions, task initiation, and task completion. These learning skills in the brain are like command operations in a computer. When they are working, we do really well, but when they are not, we tend to forget to turn in homework or are late to appointments. A lack of EF skills can also lead to work anxiety, avoidance, and even depression. Every individual has a limited capacity for executive function skills before they get exhausted and overwhelmed.
The Three Main Areas Of Executive Functioning Skills
Holding on to information and putting it to its correct use. Executing the sequence of looking up the telephone number for pizza delivery, finding your phone, making the call and ordering pizza is an example of working memory.
Looking at things in more than one way. If you are preparing a presentation and decide that graphs would be more effective than pie charts, you are using cognitive flexibility by using the ability to think of another solution.
Staying focused on a task and ignoring distractions. In today’s virtual learning environment, it could be described as resisting Instagram when you are taking lecture notes. It is using self-control during a task.
Our Executive Functioning Strategies And Game Plan
Building executive functions skills in the brain is a lot like working out. We work with each family through our virtual learning academy to figure out what works and what doesn’t. We provide strategies to help learning for students become easier. Here is the step-by-step breakdown of our virtual learning academy for building EF skills.
In this first session, our coaches will work with the family to understand the areas that need improvement, provide strategies, and come up with a game plan.
Our coaches work with each student for 1 to 1.5 hours to review their week, talk about strategies that could work and come up with a plan to implement.
Our coaches work with each student twice a week for 15 minutes to see how implementation is during the week. They provide feedback and guidance as needed.
Our coaches will provide an email, updating parents on progress and how to best provide support at home for their student. Positive encouragement is vital!
At EFC, our programs are aimed to help individuals develop and hone their executive functions skills.
We know all too well that in a virtual learning world, there is an ever-increasing number of tabs to track. Improving executive function skills will ensure that the brain is able to keep track of projects and stay on track!
How Do Executive Functioning Skills Work In A Virtual Learning Environment?
EF skills are part of everything we do, especially in today’s virtual learning world. Improving executive function deficit is vital in today’s virtual learning environment.
Suppose your student is taking notes on the evolution of cells. What executive functions skills are involved? They need to turn on their computer, log onto their classroom, and open Notability on their iPads. They need to organize headers and write out bullet points. They may even need to draw and organize a table. That is six distinct executive functions steps, and we haven’t even mentioned the temptation of TikTok. Yes, to some of us, working in a virtual learning environment just requires some “getting used to,” but to those lacking executive functions skills, it just isn’t that simple and improving executive function skills can help.
Our Team at EFC
Luis L., Executive Functions Coach’s Director of Learning
❝ If you're not being given the tools you need to excel, go and get them. ❞
Yi Chang, Executive Functions Coach’s Director of Operations
❝ Sessions with my executive functions skills coach was the one activity I didn’t dread growing up. ❞
Have Questions About Executive Functions Skills?
Yes! Some of us naturally develop these neurological pathways and have learning environments that allow them to flourish. However, for some, these skills are just dormant and need to be booted up and trained.
The first step to learning about Executive Functions is to understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie with these skills. Then from there, having a coach that can help you build specific strategies towards tackling each weakness using your strength will be critical to learning how to master your executive functions.
In Psychology, executive functions are often defined as one’s ability to plan and execute tasks, make decisions, control their impulses, regulate their emotions, shift from one task to another, and understand and communicate instructions.
Absolutely! If there is strong intrinsic motivation for change and a willingness to stick to a daily, weekly routine then anyone can improve their executive functions.
Executive functions that have to do with ADHD are generally pinpointed to impulse control, mental and spatial planning, shifting from one task to another, and working memory.
Our executive functions are called into action the most during stressful situations, good or bad. However, when a situation becomes toxic, our ability to perform executive functions is limited, and we tend to shut down. This is oftentimes equated to feeling like you are in a foggy-blinded state.
There are a few components to this, but the two main components are working memory and shifting. Working memory helps us take in information, understand it, and break it down. Shifting helps us go from one topic to the next fluidly and cohesively. Both of these play a critical role in reading comprehension.
Our executive functions are housed in the prefrontal cortex of our brain, so in short our frontal cortex plays a role in all of our executive functions from working memory to critical thinking.
Executive functions are critical in everyday functioning and help each individual organize, prioritize, plan, complete daily tasks, think critically, and make decisions. These tasks can be something as simple as cleaning your room to something as complex as planning a big project.
The 7 executive functions are remembering information, keeping our lives organized, planning and breaking down tasks, controlling our emotions, initiating and transitioning tasks, controlling our impulses, and setting goals and monitoring our progress.
Executive functioning skills are our ability to perform purposeful, goal-orientated behaviors in an unstructured environment. Read our blog “What Are Executive Functioning Skills?”
Common signs of poor executive functioning in students and adults are having a hard time initiating a task, completing a task by a deadline, turning in a task, expressing emotions, shifting between tasks, difficulties with problem solving and critical thinking, and impulse control.
Of course! Improving executive functions is all about finding the right tools that work for you and then just practicing them over and over again until you have mastered them. Having a coach along the way will help guide you through each step and keep you accountable.
The key to improving your executive functions is motivation, tools, and accountability. We have to have motivation to improve our lives in order to use the tools that will help our executive functions. If we want to continually improve, we have to have an accountability factor put in place.
Executive functions develop over time with the right learning environment. Some learn them in high school, while others learn them in college or at their first job. Developing them takes commitment and is hard. Having friends, family and maybe even a coach to keep you accountable throughout the process is very important.
Understanding executive functions can be confusing. Some very common and hopefully relatable examples of executive functions include understanding and breaking down the main idea of a project, assignment or task, starting that task, making decisions, and controlling impulses.
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Level up your metacognition and unlock the tools to improve your organization, planning, time management, and so much more. Our expert executive function coaches will guide you towards a better understanding of yourself and provide you with invaluable skills. Don’t miss out on this opportunity for personal growth.