Difficulties with the higher-level cognitive skills that make up executive function can impact adults by limiting one’s ability to “connect the dots” and can impact other areas of executive functioning as well.
Executive Function Development in Adults
Executive Functioning Disorder in Adults
- Use a paper planner or calendar to keep track of obligations
- Set up a filing system to keep track of and manage mail and important papers
- Use highlighters and colorful sticky notes to make a visual organization system
- Use apps to stay organized. Here are some Alexa Skills that can help with executive functioning skills like organization, etc.
- Set up calendar reminders on a phone or smartwatch
- Set up automatic payment plans for bills
- Brainstorm routines and weekly/daily tasks and strategies to make decision-making less stressful and easier
- Think through and visualize the day or week ahead and predict any challenge that may arise
- Create routines and calendars for ongoing tasks
- Create brain dumping lists for big tasks and set goals with specific dates and timelines
- Use a daily journal to track each day’s events. The Impulse Control Journal can be used by adults as well as kids. The “look” of the journal is not childish, and has many components that can translate to an adult’s needs in promoting organizational, time management, etc.
More Resources for Adults with Executive Function Disorder
One symptom that is mentioned is the regulation of one’s non-verbal working memory, or our inner critic. This is an area that can be detrimental to some, especially when self-conscious of weaknesses that impact life choices or struggles. Here is one simple strategy for self-talk in kids, but can be morphed into an age-appropriate version for adults.
Finally, remember that many of the executive functioning strategies that are out there and presented in books can be used just as easily and seamlessly by adults. The same strategies that work for keeping track of homework tasks by a child can be used by an adult who needs to manage bills and important papers.