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 Executive Functions for Learning


Executive functioning skills are skills that we need in order to plan, organize, manage our time, and control our emotions. 

These are the most important skills for learning!

Start here:


Did you know that in order to create a memory, you have to be paying attention? There are different types of attention and they are all important.


This is one of the best ways to improve your learning! Staying organized with your assignments, keeping your mental space organized, and planning your studying time are all essential to learning.

organizing & Planning

We have three different kinds of memory: short term, working memory, and long term memory. They are all essential for learning and it is super important to know how to use them to your advantage!

Try These!

Make a to do list

  • Use the Notes app

  • Use Asana 

  • Use a spreadsheet 

  • Handwrite it-but don't lose it!

  • Try Google Tasks (must have a google account)

Set Reminders

  • Use the iphone app to do this!

  • Set a timer for 25 minutes then take a 5 minute break

Color Code

  • Color code your notebooks and folders for each class! 

  • Choose a color to represent each subject

Keep a planner

  • Use a planner to plan assignments ahead of time, track due dates, and ensure that you do not miss any assignments. 

  • Use Google Calendar, set alerts, and check it daily

Improve Your Learning with Executive Function Hacks

  1. Set a goal

    • Goals need to be attainable.​

    • Goals should be specific.

    • It should matter to YOU- there is no point in setting a goal that you don't care about.

  2. Just start: If you are having trouble starting a task, set a timer for 2 minutes and just start. Most likely, when that timer goes off you will be too immersed in the task to stop.

  3. Write it down on a post it note- by writing it down you are making a commitment. Stick the post it somewhere you can easily see it.

  4. Set a timer- time management is an essential skill and using a timer is a great way to help yourself stay on track. 

  5. Sustained attention- Did you know your brain can actually only pay attention to one thing at a time? If you think you can multitask, what's actually happening is called task shifting. You are just rapidly (an inefficiently) switching between tasks. It serves you much better to pay attention to one thing at a time.

  6. Reward yourself- It's important to take breaks during intense learning. Your brain actually needs time to rest and consolidate all the information you just learned so breaks are a great reward. You should take a 5 minute break every 25 minutes of sustained attention time.

  7. Make a to-do list with check boxes: When you write things down, your brain more likely to remember them. When you complete a task, check off the box! This helps release dopamine which will make you feel rewarded and successful.

"When you set an intention, you improve your attention, which in turn fosters retention." 

-Ella Holton-McCoy

Brainstorm to Success
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