5 Executive Functioning Skills for Academic Success
Executive functioning skills are the tools that help us to plan, organize, and complete tasks. These skills are important for success in school, work, and everyday life.
For example, when we plan and organize a school project, we first have to think about what needs to be done and then put those tasks in order of importance. Once we have a plan, we can start working on the project and check things off as we go.
These skills also come in handy when we need to solve problems. We have to be able to think flexibly and come up with different solutions until we find one that works. These skills develop over time, and most people continue to improve them throughout their lives.
With that in mind, here are 5 important executive functioning skills that will enhance school performance.
#1 – Time Management
Time management is essential for task completion and balance. When given a long term deadline, a student with strong time management skills will break the project down into smaller tasks, make a schedule to complete those tasks, and then stick to that schedule.
This executive functioning skill is especially relevant in high school because it prevents procrastination which can lead to many late nights. That said, it’s important to remember that everyone has different time management needs and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one person might not work for another.
The most important thing is to find what works best for your student and then stick to it. With a little practice, they can develop strong time management skills that will help them in all areas of their life.
#2 – Organization
Most people understand the importance of being organized. After all, who hasn’t felt the frustration of misplacing an important item or forgetting an important deadline?
Many people, especially busy students, often struggle with staying on top of everything.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps that everyone can take to get more organized. One way to get started is to create a daily checklist or use a weekly planner where you can track upcoming deadlines and appointments. Your student can also try setting aside specific times for certain tasks, such as when to write their essay, complete assignments, or study for tests.
By taking some time to plan ahead, your student’s life can be more organized and less chaotic.
#3 – Planning and Preparation
Many people think of executive functioning skills as being able to focus, pay attention, and remember things. However, it actually includes a broad category of abilities that help us to plan, organize, and execute tasks.
For example, when your student sits down to write a paper for school, they first have to come up with a plan for what they’re going to write.
Next, they have to organize their thoughts and gather any information or resources they’ll need.
Finally, they have to actually write the paper. As you can see, executive functioning skills are necessary for completing even simple tasks.
By taking the time to break down tasks into smaller steps and create a detailed plan of action, your student can set themselves up for success. Additionally, preparing ahead of time by gathering all the materials they need can help reduce stress and prevent last-minute scrambling. With a little bit of planning and preparation, anyone can improve their executive functioning skills.
#4 – Problem-Solving
Problem-solving is a process of breaking down a task into smaller steps in order to find a solution. It requires both logical and creative thinking.
Many people find that using a step-by-step approach can be helpful when tackling a problem.
In the case of your student, they first need to identify the problem and gather information about it. Next, they need to come up with possible solutions and evaluate their effectiveness. Finally, they need to choose the best solution and implement it.
Problem-solving skills are essential not only for school but also work and life in general.
#5 – Self Monitoring
Self Monitoring is the ability to ask: How am I doing? Do I need to make changes? Do I need to take a break? Assessing one’s own performance can help students self-evaluate and solve their problems.
Self Monitoring includes self-regulation. This means being able to control impulses, manage emotions, and stay on task. For example, if a student is feeling frustrated with a difficult assignment, they need to be able to take a break or ask for help instead of giving up or getting angry.
Self Monitoring is an important executive functioning skill because it helps your student get their needs met in order to be successful.
This can lead to Self-advocacy. For example, if a student needs more time to complete an assignment, they need to communicate with their teacher and explain why extenuating circumstances exist.
We Can Help You Develop Your Executive Functioning Skills!
By following the above tips, students can develop their own executive functioning skills. However, it’s not always easy. If you feel there’s something missing, consider working with us. At OPEN-EDvantage, our tutors are trained to help your student develop their own executive functioning skills for a positive overall academic experience!