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3 Components of Executive Functions You Never Knew About

3 Components of Executive Functions You Never Knew About

Green Productivity Tools3 Components of Executive Functions You Never Knew About

  1. Self-Regulation of Emotion

One of the most unknown or least understood components of executive dysfunction in my experience is the connection between it and emotions. As Dr. Barkley notes in his book Taking Charge of Adult ADHD, “”Emotions are powerful motivators…If we have no control over our emotions, we have a lot less control over what we do.”

What does this mean?

Acknowledging the connection between executive functioning and emotions can make it easier to motive yourself or your loved ones. Using strategies that encourage positive emotions and also regulation of how one acts on emotions they feel can be a powerful force in a person’s life. So often people assume that organizing is sterile and devoid of emotion, but for many people, their stuff is a reflection of their values or their life and therefore is intertwined with emotions.


  1. Social Impacts of Executive Functions

Weak executive functioning affects a person’s ability to easily learn from past experiences. Poor impulse control makes it difficult to not interrupt in conversations. Trouble regulating emotions lead to difficulties reacting appropriately to others. When put this way, it’s easier to see how a person with ADHD or other executive dysfunctions can struggle socially.

What does this mean?

Understanding why a person may be interrupting, spacing out, or not following through on plans can help to realize that some of the social missteps in relationships should not be attributed to a lack of caring or a weakness in the relationship. Coming from a place of understand can help both parties to interact from a place of kindness rather than hurt feelings.


  1. Self-Acceptance is Hard

It may be frustrating to make plans with someone who is frequently late, to love a personal who loses their keys daily, or to raise kids who struggle to form social relationships. However, it’s important to remember that however frustrating it is for you to deal with, imagine how hard it is for the personal living it.

What does this mean?

Be conscious of the fact that the person you are dealing with has likely heard many times over the negative impacts of their behavior. They are also likely working hard to improve their situation, even if you can’t see the benefits of that work yet. Whatever your feelings toward the situation are, that person has probably already told themselves over and over how bad it is before. It’s not important to point out their downfalls, it’s important to help them find a way around them.


Happy & Compassionate Organizing!


Cris Sgrott

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