Executive Functioning

What is executive functioning?

Executive functioning is the term used to describe the cognitive process that regulates a personís ability to organise their thoughts and activities, to prioritise tasks, to manage time efficiently and to make decisions.

You may experience difficulty with one or more of these executive skills:

"I start a task at work then I seem to get 'lost'"

Strategies to help

Take a minute

If you are struggling with a task, take a minute and think about it before starting

Set specific goals

for specific times

Schedule activities

Use calendars, electronic devices, computers to help you plan and schedule activities

If you find it difficult to plan meals

Or if you tend to be an impulsive shopper, try writing up meal plans for the coming week before going shopping


Be kind to yourself

...and reward yourself for achieving a task

When you are struggling to solve a problem

Work it through with someone you trust and write down their alternative solutions

If you are making frequent errors

Take a step back and see if you can recognise the errors, then try to do the task differently

Each day write out the jobs you'd like to achieve

Number them in order of priority, so you start with the most important ones

If you are struggling with finances

Try using a budget book to track money spent

If family/friends tell you there's a problem

Try to be calm and ask for support in working out the difficulty