What is Executive Function?
As you become more familiar with ADHD, you may hear people say things like "I want to finish the project, but I just don't have the executive function."
What does this mean?
Executive function is basically the executive assistant for your brain. They manage, organize, plan, and execute the actions you need to take to accomplish your goals.
Long term goals especially rely on executive function so that a series of tasks required to get to that goal can be accomplished.
As you may have guessed, ADHD causes major dysfunction to our executive function.
"It is not that the individual does not know what to do. It is that somehow it does not get done." — Russell Barkley
Our brain is like the founder of a company who's still trying to do everything—rather than delegating important stuff to someone else.
We never hired the executive assistant so nothing ever gets done. Instead of organizing and putting long-term plans into action, we're just running from fire to fire, trying to keep the whole thing afloat.
And when a project gets stalled halfway through, we don't have that assistant—our executive function—to jump in and help us stay focused on the goal and making forward momentum.
We get stuck, we just don't have the executive function.
This is why many with ADHD require the use of charts, stickers, index cards, post-its, reminder apps, and more.
These tools can help to reinforce accomplishing goals, the primary thing we're lacking without our assistant.
They help remind us of things we declare to be important to us.
Jesse J. Anderson
P.S. I sent out early access emails to some of the first wave of alpha readers for my Refocus book and have been getting great feedback!
Don't worry if you signed up and haven't heard anything yet—I'm inviting in smaller waves so I can respond to user feedback and improve the draft before inviting more. If you aren't on the list and want to help the book by providing feedback, you can sign up to be an alpha reader.
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