Find out about an efficient executive functioning treatment and tools that can develop executive functioning skills in people of all ages.
Some people can’t focus hard enough to perform one task, let alone transition between activities and learn new things. While tempting to believe only kids and adolescents experience this problem, many adults deal with it on a daily basis.
These types of struggles come down to each person’s executive functioning skills. If yours aren’t advanced enough, here are the reasons why and some tools you can use to improve.
What is executive functioning (EF)?
Executive functioning refers to a series of cognitive processes required to control behavior and complete tasks.
Examples of executive functioning skills include the following:
- Emotional control or impulse control
- Working memory
- Planning and organization
- Shifting between tasks
- Flexible thinking and problem-solving
- Task initiation and decision-making
Although it’s a buzzword, the term executive functioning carries a lot of weight in psychology. Understanding and developing executive functions helps learners and people of all ages manage their behavior and resources to complete specific tasks.
Causes of executive dysfunction
Executive dysfunction, executive function disorder or EFD, is a behavioral system that makes it difficult for people to manage emotions, thoughts, and actions. Therefore, it disrupts their abilities to perform tasks and reach goals.
The onset of EFT is typical in people with mental health conditions, learning disabilities, mood swings, addictions, etc.
Here are some of the causes linked to EFD:
- Learning disabilities
- Cognitive disorders
- Chronic pain
- Brain injuries (TBI)
Many people with EFD struggle to complete basic life tasks, lack life skills, can’t function efficiently in the workspace without help, achieve good grades in school, or maintain relationships.
How can EF be treated or improved?
Improving a child’s executive function skills, or those of an adult, comes down to using helpful tools and sometimes seeking cognitive behavioral therapy. In some situations, medication can also help, especially in people who have ADHD.
The good news is that not all forms of EFD are alike. Thus, people of all ages can try using helpful tools rather than pop pills or pay hundreds of dollars per month for therapy. Here are some examples:
- To-do lists
- Task cards
- Graphic organizers
- Executive functioning apps
- Online resources
Why do these tools work?
Because many executive function skills suffer or don’t develop due to a lack of organizational skills and focus. Once people learn to stay organized, they can improve their EF processes like self-control and get better at prioritizing.
Tools that can help with EF development in children and adults alike
Becoming organized and learning to focus are crucial steps toward improving EF development. But taking notes and writing down appointments, dates, goals, and tasks aren’t enough.
A world driven by technology offers many distractions. Tech can be a double-edged sword in improving behavioral patterns and executive function processes. Some people get sidetracked by technology.
Therefore, it’s important to make it work for you, not against you. And since you probably spend most of your day using apps for work, leisure, and learning, why not double down on something that can help with EF skills?
Text to speech tools
Text to speech (TTS) technology is a game-changer in combating learning disabilities, improving focus, and enabling multitasking. Speechify uses TTS software that converts written text into audio files.
Users can listen to entire audiobooks, textbooks, or their emails while doing other activities. It’s an excellent app for helping dyslexic people or children with ADHD.
Hearing a narration and following it on the screen should improve people’s abilities to distinguish words, decode language, and absorb information. It even helps to read while recovering from TBI.
It can eliminate confusion and allow people to focus harder on achieving their goals.
Furthermore, text to speech software like Speechify is available on multiple mobile devices – Android, iPhones, iPads – and as a browser extension. But perhaps most importantly, it trains people to multitask and use different senses simultaneously.
Schedule your tasks
Daily, weekly, and even monthly schedules are essential to monitor progress and maintain a systematic approach to solving problems and achieving goals.
It can fix executive functioning issues in everyday life, professionally and socially, especially for impulsive people who display chaotic behavior.
Use worksheets and handouts
Worksheets are another category of EF-friendly tools. Many apps allow you to create and manage worksheets to track your progress in EF skills development.
A worksheet may also prove helpful when analyzing your performance in various work-related and social activities.
Focus on organization
There’s more to being organized than decluttering an office desk. Naturally, having a cleaner room or work environment will help.
However, organization is vital in other areas as well. For example, you may use organization apps to separate personal documents from work or school projects.
You can create a better inbox system for your email.
Keeping everything tidy in real life and the virtual space is essential. Being organized reduces the chances of getting overwhelmed.
Executive function deficits appear when people lack punctuality and commitment. But you can’t have those attributes if you never know what to do and waste time organizing your thoughts or trying to remember appointments.
A digital planning app can help you see all of your activities daily, including your schedule, weeks or months in advance. In addition, planners have various alarms, notifications, and reminders to keep you punctual and up-to-date with your activities.
Use time management tools
Time management tools are similar to scheduling apps, planners, and calendars. But they come with a twist.
These tools allow you to categorize tasks by urgency, value, importance, etc. Therefore, they help you understand how to schedule your tasks better and carve out sufficient time to perform each one.
The more you use time management tools, the easier it is to understand your abilities and manage your time better moving forward.
Use Speechify’s text to speech tool to help with EFD
It trains multitasking skills, a core component of EF processes, and compensates for certain learning difficulties with human-like narration of any text. In addition, it hones mental focus and helps users learn self-monitoring by studying anywhere and anytime. Moreover, it can positively impact emotional control thanks to its efficiency in overcoming learning deficits.
Try Speechify if you want to work on a large portion of your executive function skills. You will improve in several areas, which should empower you to add more anti-EFD tools to your arsenal.