Executive function is a set of mental and behavioral skills that are used to learn, work, and manage daily life successfully. Most of the difficulties that students have in school are related to poor executive function skills. They suffer from the inability to focus and concentrate on their tasks, follow directions, time management, beat deadlines, and handle their emotions.
The three main skills of executive function are:
- Time Management Skills – The most valuable resource that students have is time. Having the ability to manage and maximize their time enables them to plan, prioritize, and work more effectively to finish tasks and beat deadlines. Good time management skills lead to better results, less stress, and more quality time.
- Organizational Skills – Together with time management skills, a student should have organizational skills to list and prioritize tasks and identify those which are relevant to their goals. Having organizational skills conserves energy by channeling them to the important tasks that need to be accomplished at a particular time.
- Study Skills – Studying long and hard does not equate to studying well. Students often toil and spend endless nights studying without really learning anything. Developing essential study skills ensures that students are learning what they need to methodically.
Developing executive function skills is an integral part of academic coaching. Successful students know how to manage and organize their time to achieve success in school and still have time to do things they enjoy and have a work-life balance.