Tips to Improve Executive Functioning

Excerpts from “Thriving with Adult ADHD” by Phil Boissiere, MFT

Tips to Strengthen your Working Memory

  • Keep your brain sharp with movement and exercise
  • Protect your sleep
  • Label or name a current task before doing something else
  • Use positive self-talk

Tips to Help Improve your Overall Memory

  • Breathe when you forget
  • Rehearse the information
  • Use mnemonics
  • Check you mind-set

Tips to Help you Follow Instructions

  • Write down the instructions
  • Don’t get lost in the details first
  • Repeat and recap
  • Give Context and meaning to each aspect of the instructions

Tips to Managing all Types of Distractions

  • Keep your digital devices in check
  • Use a distraction log
  • Stay clear on the task at hand
  • Blow away distrations
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Block distraction with another distraction
  • Chunking time, taking breaks
  • Always write things down
  • Set up a reward system

Learn to Organize and Plan

  • The joys of weeding!
  • Use a timer
  • Assign priority levels to your tasks and goals

Time Management

  • Don’t allow vague tasks or tasks without deadlines to drag out endlessly
  • Make a to-do list

Flexible Problem Solving and Getting Unstuck

  • Pause to take perspective
  • Remember to calm your mind to see other perspectives
  • Change your work environment
  • Inventory your emotions

Enhance your Emotion Regulation

  • Watch your emotions rise and fall
  • Your sleep and wake times should be consistent
  • Meal times should be consistent
  • You were built to move, consistent exercise

Build Your Resilience

  • Do something scary every day
  • Be a guide for others

Manage Negative Emotions

  • Take a pause
  • Brainstorm possible outcomes of uncertainties
  • Remember to zoom out and take a step back
  • When all else fails, just stop
  • Check your thoughts agains what you see
  • Think about what someone else would say