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Have you heard comments like this all of your life?

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Flaticon Icon What do all of those comments have in common?

Flaticon Icon They're all related to executive function skills.

What Are Executive Function Skills?

Some actions we take happen without thinking — breathing, sneezing, pulling a hand away from a hot stove. Others rely on executive function.

Executive function skills are...

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...any action that requires time management, decision-making, and using and storing information in your working and long-term memory, respectively.

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They develop in the frontal lobe of the brain, which isn't completely formed until the late 20s.

To access an audio description of the above image, click the play button on the audio file below:

Executive function skills affect every area of our lives — not just school or work.


Which executive function skills would be used to get to class on time? Select all that apply.

Executive Function Skills Explained

Women talking to someone, saying - what's the big deal?

The term executive dysfunction is often used when someone struggles with any of the executive function skills.

Some symptoms of executive dysfunction are:

  • Being easily distracted

  • Focusing too much on just one thing

  • Daydreaming or "spacing out"

  • Getting overwhelmed easily

  • Having trouble getting started with a project or work

  • Acting impulsively

  • Trouble stopping one project and moving to another

  • Getting frustrated quickly

The TikTok video below illustrates executive dysfunction.


Gary has issues with time management. What areas of his life would most likely be affected? Select all that apply.

Improving Executive Function Skills

Because executive functioning is a huge part of basic life skills, struggling with the related skills can be overwhelming.

Here are some strategies to help yourself or someone you know improve their executive function skills.

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There are also professional options for support.

Executive Function Coaches

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An executive function coach works 1:1 or in small groups to help people with executive function skills learn and apply strategies that improve their lives.


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Some people who have challenges with executive function skills also have other conditions like ADHD, anxiety, depression, or OCD. A medical doctor may decide that medications are helpful.


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Therapists can help people with executive dysfunction learn how to cope with issues.

Take Action

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