How to Improve Executive Functioning Skills

How to Improve Executive Functioning Skills
  • Opening Intro -

    No two people have the same strengths and weaknesses and everyone has their unique way of learning and being taught that resonates with their personality, likes, and dislikes.

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Educational institutions are constantly looking for ways to improve their teaching and training methods because to cater to every different type of personality, the authorities must take into consideration that it is easy for students to get bored or irritated with the same old teaching methods day in and day out.

That is why, in allowing schools to implement unique and improved, verified methods into the system and the classrooms, it empowers each learner, builds confidence, and helps them gain a love for knowledge and learning.

One such unique idea is the executive functioning skills training in schools. This is a set of different approaches or processes that are used in various facilities to help manage oneself and one’s resources, to achieve an end goal such as completing a personal project or a task.

This concept has been around for a long time, but it’s only now in the past recent years that it has hit the business arena by storm. To put it plainly, this is a concept whereby a set of particular mental skills such as flexible thinking, working memory, and self-control, are taught daily in work, school, and daily life.

Some of the users of this method of teaching call it “the management system of the brain.” This is due to the anomaly of the skills involved, which let us do several skills such as set goals, execute, and plan things.

It has been used at Harvard to help prepare students for life skills and to make improvements in their mental abilities to help them focus their attention on things, to remember instructions, and to make sure they are capable of maintaining multiple tasks.

Further information can be found on this website here. When people don’t know how to implement these, they may end up struggling in life with projects or home chores for instance.

Three Main Areas

As mentioned earlier, there are three main areas of this functioning method:

  1. Inhibitory control which includes self-control
  2. Flexible or cognitive thinking
  3. Working memory

How It Can Help Us

  1. It can help us to be more organized, to prioritize things and to plan things better
  2. It helps us to start a task and enable us to stay focused on it till completion
  3. It helps us to pay attention to things
  4. It allows us to regulate our emotions
  5. It aids us to monitor our selves and keep track of our performance
  6. It is fundamental in helping us to understand different perspectives or points of view

It seems like every educational institution should implement this method in its curriculum. Unfortunately, not all can, but we as individuals can attempt to add this method into our lives to improve things for the better.

How to Improve It Ourselves

For those who don’t know how to improve their skills, there are many things you can do for yourself or your child that have proven to be beneficial. Because it is a group of important mental skills that fall into the three areas as mentioned above.

If we put practice into each of those three categories especially for children, it can help them improve by placing emphasis on their executive functioning skills and training them in all aspects of these areas to improve them, and through continuous practice they will become better at focusing on their work, listening better and finishing all tasks that have been given to them.

Things that children can do to improve this further are mindfulness activities such as trainers using cards with different images on them to help develop the memory part of the brain. These are held up to the children and asked to remember the images, after a few seconds the cards are turned around and the teacher asks them if they can remember the images in sequence. This will help develop their emotional and memory performance.

other valuable tips:

Another tactic is a visualization technique which is a multisensory activity that tests several things such as color, quantity, senses, action, reaction, what, and when. Along with the four senses of smell, touch, taste, and sound. It is a very holistic approach that taps into all areas of the child’s mind, making it more flexible and open to receive new information.

Which Personality Types Will It Help Especially?

No one is born with a condition that states he is diagnosed with a lack of executive functioning skills. But there are a few things that can cause it.

Some things that can be done to improve this, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), organizational coaching, schools to implement training in their services, and medications specifically for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) you can read about this common condition amongst children online https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/treatments-approaches/medications/adhd-medication.

Besides children with ADHD, the other group of kids that it can help are those that have Dyslexia. This is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty in reading because one cannot understand how the sounds of a speech relate to the words written down and they need one-to-one coaching.

It mainly affects the language part of the brain and one needs constant training to improve this condition. Treatment for this involves studying phonics, using computers, and teaching compensation and coping techniques to the child.

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