4 min read

What is life like for an adult with executive dysfunction?

By Justice Abbott on Feb 1, 2023 1:32:18 PM

I’ve recently heard about executive function skills because my child was just diagnosed with ADHD. I don’t really know much about it but I suspect I have trouble in this area, too. I would love to hear any examples you might have of what executive dysfunction in a working adult can actually look like. I want to get assistance with my challenges but I just want to know more about them before taking any action.

Topics: Self-Management Skills Problem solving Benefits of Executive Function Coaching Developing Executive Function Skills Building better habits Executive Dysfunction Adult Executive Functioning Help Adult Executive Function Skills
3 min read

I've made my resolutions... now what?

By Justice Abbott on Jan 17, 2023 12:10:25 PM

It's the new year and I did what all the commercials and pop culture have told me to do... I've created a New Year's resolution list. It feels good to have established lofty goals for myself this year but now I feel pretty stuck on how to actually achieve them. Most of my goals involve improving my organization and time management methods because - well, let's just say I'm not exactly great at that stuff. Establishing the goals feels like the first step in the right direction but I need help with actually making sure I do the work.

Topics: Developing Executive Function Skills Building better habits Adult Executive Functioning Help Adult Executive Function Skills goals Goal setting
6 min read

How to deal with difficult coworkers

By Justice Abbott on Oct 18, 2022 2:45:21 PM

I just started a new job, and everything's been great... except for one thing. I have one very difficult coworker. I just cannot seem to get along with this person and I find myself feeling upset just thinking about interacting with him. Do you have any advice for dealing with difficult coworkers?

Topics: Emotional Regulation Strategies Problem solving Self Advocacy Work Problems Adult Executive Functioning Help Work life Adult Executive Function Skills
1 min read

Why do I need to work on my executive function skills?

By Justice Abbott on Sep 22, 2022 9:49:14 AM

So, I get the whole executive coaching thing but I'm not an executive, yet. Why would I need to work on my executive function skills before then? When I advance in my career, then I'll need them, right?

Topics: Self-Management Skills Benefits of Executive Function Coaching adults with executive function challenges Executive Function Skills Work Problems Adult Executive Functioning Help Work life Adult Executive Function Skills executive dysfunction in adults executive coach
2 min read

Managing Back-to-School Stress as a Caregiver

By Justice Abbott on Sep 1, 2022 3:03:58 PM

My daughter is starting kindergarten and my son is starting 3rd grade next week - it's safe to say, I'm panicking a bit. I see tons of stuff offering help and tips for students to successfully transition back to school but do you have anything for the parents? For me, my child heading to school feels like a transition for both of us. I definitely allow myself to get consumed by the stress of preparing for the new school year. Do you have any tips to help me deal with my own back-to-school stress?

Topics: Emotional Regulation Strategies adults with executive function challenges Stress Management Adult Executive Function Skills parenting
2 min read

Does ADHD go away in adults?

By Justice Abbott on Aug 11, 2022 9:49:07 AM

I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in high school but I never actually followed through with taking medication. I made it through school (with a whole lot of stress) and I'm feeling like I'm really struggling now between my job and trying to manage my home life. I always thought that I'd just outgrow this ADHD thing now that I'm an adult. Why can't I seem to move past my ADHD?

A common misconception is that ADHD can simply be treated in childhood and eventually go away. While that would be great, most adults don't outgrow their ADHD symptoms. ADHD affects 6 to 9 percent of children, and clinically significant symptoms persist into adulthood in 60 percent of cases. Unfortunately, untreated ADHD can have some pretty rough consequences for adults.

Untreated ADHD can lead to challenges with maintaining a household and trouble managing emotions due to impulsive decision-making. This can also cause strained relationships, making it harder to maintain friendships or romantic relationships. Untreated ADHD symptoms can also damage your career as it becomes increasingly difficult for you to meet deadlines, stay focused at work, and manage all of your responsibilities. And if you allow this pattern to persist, you're derailing your professional goals and hindering your true earning potential.

Another commonality among adults with untreated ADHD is the tendency to self-medicate and overuse substances like drugs and alcohol, which can lead to addiction. This study from 2020 indicated that 34-46% of individuals who seek treatment for a cannabis use disorder also have ADHD.

Not only does untreated ADHD negatively impact your physical health, but left untreated, ADHD can also lower your self-esteem. In a Washington Post article, a mother reports her experiences of feelings "less-than" due to her undiagnosed ADHD symptoms. Going through your daily life, constantly being told you're lazy, messy, or scattered can eat away at your confidence, as you start to believe that you're fundamentally flawed. 

If you're opposed to medication, there are other treatment options to manage your ADHD. Among those options include therapy and executive function coaching. After all, executive function challenges are the core of ADHD. Getting the support you need to manage your condition can have life-changing effects on both you and your family. ADHD does not simply go away with age. You don't need to struggle. There's a better way!

Topics: adults with executive function challenges Adult Executive Functioning Help Adult Executive Function Skills adhd in adults adhd
2 min read

Am I lazy or do I have ADHD?

By Justice Abbott on Jul 21, 2022 2:42:45 PM

For as long as I can remember, I've been told, "you're just lazy," "you're scatterbrained," or "get your act together." These types of negative messages have had a deep impact on me after all these years. Now that there's so much awareness around ADHD, I've been wondering if it's time to find out if there are some underlying causes for my problems that have been overlooked. Where do I start? 

Topics: Self Advocacy adults with executive function challenges Emotions Adult Executive Function Skills adhd in adults adults with ADHD Laziness
3 min read

I've just been diagnosed with adhd... what now?

By Justice Abbott on Jul 7, 2022 12:30:00 PM

I've just been diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 42. Am I too old to do anything about it? I've always thought ADHD was just about hyperactive kids and problems at school. I am wary of taking medication. So, what do I do now?

Topics: adults with executive function challenges Stress Management Adult Executive Functioning Help Focus Adult Executive Function Skills adhd in adults executive dysfunction in adults adults with ADHD
2 min read

Can adults improve executive function skills?

By Justice Abbott on Jun 16, 2022 2:39:37 PM

I'm almost 40 years old and starting to realize I have executive function challenges. I hadn't heard of the term until recently when researching my symptoms. It's apparent that there are resources to improve executive function skills but at my age, I feel like it might be too late. I'm already set in my disorganized, scattered ways and I'm wondering if change might simply be too hard now. Can adults still improve their executive function skills?

Topics: adults with executive function challenges Adult Executive Functioning Help Adult Executive Function Skills organization help for adults adhd in adults executive dysfunction in adults
2 min read

I'm struggling with the hybrid work thing

By Justice Abbott on May 26, 2022 4:48:25 PM

My job recently transitioned into a hybrid situation, meaning I only go into the office 3 days a week. This is great and I love being able to work from home twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays but I'm starting to notice some productivity problems. I'm great when I'm in the office but I find myself rudderless on the work-from-home days. If I'm not getting caught up running errands or doing housework, I'm sitting in front of my screen on Twitter letting hours pass by, having no work to show for it. This hybrid work model is still new for me but I'm afraid my trouble adjusting will fester into a real problem sooner or later. Any tips?

It sounds like you're having trouble in two areas: flexibly adapting to transitions in your work environment because it changes each day and establishing structure in your routine on the work-from-home days.

It can be difficult to transition back and forth during your week: Is this the day I need to bring a lunch? Is this the day when I can wear more casual attire? Is this the day I need to get up early? The key to managing these changes is preparation. Regardless of where you're working the next day, have an established routine the night before that starts you off on the right foot, including an alarm that gets you up at the same time each morning. Maybe you check the weather and plan your outfit, or prepare your snacks and a lunch, or check your calendar to note any meetings you'll be attending. This consistency will help the WFH days not seem so different and set you up for greater productivity because your brain is not struggling to process all the differences between WFH and going into your office. 

One of the quickest strategies you can implement on your WFH days to immediately give yourself a sense of structure is using a daily task calendar. Each morning, identify the work tasks you need to accomplish and allocate reasonable time frames to complete each of them. Essentially, you are planning your entire workday by "scheduling" all of your tasks. This strategy provides you with a clear agenda and lets you hold yourself accountable as you work through tasks.

Another solution for creating structure at home is to limit your distractions by treating WFH days the same as you would the days you're in the office. Keep the social media feed off-limits, resist house chores, and save errands for the evening when your workday is complete. These are all things you wouldn't be able to do from the office, so it's best to limit these activities during your home workday, too.

It's in your best interests to remember that working from home is still work. Create a work environment at home that mimics the structure of being in the office to hold yourself accountable and maximize productivity. Remember that it takes time to adjust and you won't seamlessly transition overnight. Implement these strategies and adjust your WFH mindset to see improvement over time.

Topics: work-life balance productivity Work life Work from home Distractibility Focus
2 min read

Emotional dysregulation... what's that?

By Justice Abbott on May 13, 2022 10:02:47 AM

Lately, I find myself having a short fuse in situations that normally wouldn't cause me to get upset. Just the other day, I couldn't find where I left my keys and I became so frustrated that I snapped at my wife. I apologized but I felt pretty bad about it. I think these heightened emotions have something to do with my stress from work as I have a large project I'm working on. Frankly, I've been pretty overwhelmed with managing all the elements of this project. I can tell my temper is starting to affect the people around me. Is something wrong with me?

Topics: Improving Confidence Emotional Regulation Strategies work-life balance Executive Function Skills Work Problems Executive Dysfunction Emotions Adult Executive Functioning Help
2 min read

My working memory... isn't working

By Justice Abbott on Apr 28, 2022 2:13:06 PM

I feel like I have a pretty solid work-life balance but sometimes I just feel like my memory is failing me. Recently, there have been a couple of instances where I agree to plans with friends or agree to help someone out at work but then I completely forget. Of course, this leads important people in my life to feel upset with me. It's not like I'm too busy or don't want to do the thing... I just can't remember. Any advice for supporting my memory?

Topics: Planning and Prioritizing adults with executive function challenges Memory Executive Function Skills Challenges Work Problems
2 min read

Where's the evidence for Executive Function Coaching?

By Justice Abbott on Apr 14, 2022 10:50:42 AM

I've recently graduated from college and have started to apply for jobs but I can't seem to stay focused and prioritize the job application process. I had similar issues throughout my college career, where I'd oftentimes miss classes, show up late, or forget to do assignments altogether. I was told these were executive function challenges, and I'm seeing these same challenges persist into my adult life. I think I may need an EF coach, but I've never seen any data or evidence backing up the work coaches claim to do. Why would I waste my time with coaching if there aren't any proven results?

Topics: Planning and Prioritizing Time Management Self-Management Skills Benefits of Executive Function Coaching adults with executive function challenges work-life balance Executive Function Skills Executive Function Coaching Evidence
1 min read

How do I know if I need a therapist or a coach?

By Justice Abbott on Mar 31, 2022 11:56:38 AM

I've been feeling depressed lately, partly because I'm overwhelmed at work, but mainly because I have a lot going on in my home life. My negative mental state has started to affect my organizational skills and my job performance and I'm worried that my boss will start to notice. I need help, but I'm not sure who the right professional for me is.

Topics: Improving Confidence Building better habits mental health work-life balance Stress Management Executive Function Skills
4 min read

Tired of feeling unmotivated, what can I do?

By Sean Potts on Feb 23, 2022 11:41:01 AM

For the last few months, I've been feeling incredibly unmotivated. Work-related tasks, self-care, and even socializing have all suddenly become difficult to muster up the energy for. I don't think it's due to any mental health issue, but I worry that this lack of energy is hurting my confidence and future. What can I do to feel more motivated in my week? 

Firstly, I'm sorry you're going through this and I hope you also know how common your challenge is. Motivation is a constant struggle for so many adults - especially today in our digital environment. When it comes to getting motivated, the most important place to start is with expectations. Realistically, motivation is a finite resource and most of us can't wake up feeling driven every single day. Instead of relying on a fleeting, internal spark to make us productive, we should be finding ways to make our days more exciting and engaging in the first place. First, take a moment to consider the following questions:

Topics: Learning Life Skills Executive Functioning Strategies Getting started (initiation) Motivation work-life balance procrastination
3 min read

How can I stop procrastinating?

By Sean Potts on Feb 2, 2022 11:19:25 AM

I've been trying to make changes in my week to be more productive , but no matter how hard I try, I always seem to procrastinate on my goals. I've watched some videos and read up on ideas to stop, but a lot of the advice has been hard to implement. What strategies to overcome procrastination actually work? 

First of all, I hope you know how common this challenge is - of all the Executive Function challenges we experience, procrastination is easily the most widespread. Even the most successful people in the world struggle to initiate particularly difficult or "boring" tasks. The first step in overcoming procrastination is having the awareness that what you're currently doing isn't working, so congrats on already taking one step in the right direction. Here are the five strategies for overcoming procrastination that our coaches usually use with adults. 

Topics: Learning Life Skills Executive Functioning Strategies Getting started (initiation) Motivation work-life balance procrastination
1 min read

I work best when stressed

By Brittany Peterson on Oct 5, 2020 12:00:59 PM

It seems like procrastinators are seen as lazy because they put off their work so often, but I actually find that when a deadline is looming near I really get in the zone. For me, it seems like a strategy to help me work efficiently. Others tell me it’s a problem. Is it?

1 min read

Help Wanted: Self-Improvement

By Brittany Peterson on Aug 13, 2020 7:52:22 AM

I know I could be better at my job, but I am hesitant to ask for what I need to be successful at work because I don’t want my boss to think any less of me. How can I speak up for myself better?

Topics: Self Advocacy
1 min read

Flowstate Focus

By Brittany Peterson on Aug 13, 2020 7:45:09 AM

My work is very important to me, but I find that sometimes I become so engaged in a task or project, that I lose track of time and neglect other responsibilities. How can I achieve a healthier work-life balance?

Topics: work-life balance
1 min read

Email Anxiety

By Brittany Peterson on Aug 12, 2020 9:20:41 PM

I find myself writing and rewriting emails to my supervisor and colleagues because I want it to sound exactly right. How can I stop feeling bogged down by my email responses?

Topics: anxiety