Your brain performs a variety of tasks every time you think, solve problems, or do an activity. This is known as your executive function. It allows you to do things like focus your attention, prioritize tasks, and regulate your emotions and behaviors.
While they’re mostly automatic, executive functions aren’t something you’re born with. They need to be taught and strengthened as your body and brain develop. Without healthy executive function, you may have a hard time focusing on projects at work and school, keeping track of deadlines, and remembering instructions.
Dr. Richard Abbey and our team at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic in Palo Alto, California know how important healthy executive function is, which is why we offer executive function coaching to help you or your child develop needed skills. Here are just a few reasons why healthy executive function is so vital in your everyday life.
When do executive function skills develop?
Executive function skills tend to develop quickly starting in early childhood. They keep developing through adolescence and into your mid-20s. Healthy executive function allows you to do things like:
- Make future plans
- Organize thoughts and schedules
- Strategize ideas
- Evaluate potential outcomes
- Exhibit self-control
- Ignore distractions
Most executive function skills are developed through life experiences and practice, and can start being built as early as infancy through regular play.
Importance of healthy executive function
When you’re juggling things like work, school, kids, and home, you rely on your executive function skills. Here are a few examples of why those skills are so important.
More effective at home and at work
Healthy executive function means you have the skills needed to focus, follow directions, plan, and get things done. These skills are vital in succeeding both in your career and in your day-to-day life. Without them, you may have a hard time completing tasks, meeting your obligations, and maintaining a job or relationships.
Increased independence and confidence
When you know you have the mental capacity and flexible thinking skills to get things accomplished, you’re likely to feel more self-confident. These executive function skills allow you to achieve independence in your daily life and make you less likely to rely on others.
Better problem-solving skills
With healthy executive function, you can better prioritize tasks, plan and organize, absorb and segment information, and think before you act. These executive function skills allow you to solve problems and come up with solutions to both simple and complex challenges.
How to enhance your executive function
Whether from developmental disabilities like ADHD, aging, or trauma that results in a concussion, you may need help increasing your executive function skills. At our office, we offer intensive training through executive function coaching to assist you.
We’ll work with you to identify your current skills, and determine which you need to work on. Based on this, we develop a plan that helps you meet your goals. Your plan may include behavioral strategies like note-taking, self-monitoring, memory aids, and techniques for emotion regulation.
If you’re ready to start developing your executive function skills so you can thrive, call our office at 650-215-6840, or schedule an appointment online today. We also offer virtual programs.