Executive Functions

Executive functions refer to the brain processes that  help each of us to plan and execute tasks, manage our behaviour and control our emotions. These skills are essential for everyday life.

Brain

What are executive functions?

Executive functions are a family of three core processes: inhibitory control, working memory and cognitive flexibility. These three core executive functions work together in different ways resulting in 11 high-order skills called executive function skills.

Our executive function skills enable us to keep track of time, stay on task, remember instructions , control our impulses and think flexibly when plans change. Essentially, our executive function skills control all of our thoughts, actions, behaviour and emotions!

Whilst our executive function skills develop during childhood and peak in our mid-twenties, they still need conscious and consistent work to be improved and maintained at all stages of life.

The 11 Executive Function Skills

What do executive function challenges look like?

Older woman working on laptop

People who struggle with their executive functions often have trouble getting started on tasks, staying focused, working with different bits of information in their minds, being organised and planning and prioritisation tasks. During school and university years, these challenges can impact the quality of academic work, revision for exams and can make the transition between educational stages very difficult. 

In the working world these challenges often present as procrastination, difficulties managing time, making decisions, following instructions or leading a team. 

The good news is that due to the malleability of our brains (the ability of our neural pathways to grow and strengthen even as we get older), we know that we can always work on our executive functions.

People who struggle with their executive functions often have trouble getting started on tasks, staying focused, working with different bits of information in their minds, being organised and planning and prioritisation tasks. During school and university years, these challenges can impact the quality of academic work, revision for exams and can make the transition between educational stages very difficult. 

In the working world these challenges often present as procrastination, difficulties managing time, making decisions, following instructions or leading a team. 

The good news is that due to the malleability of our brains (the ability of our neural pathways to grow and strengthen even as we get older), we know that we can always work on our executive functions.

What do executive function challenges look like?

Older woman working on laptop

How can Connections in Mind help?

Connections in Mind are a family of organisations that is committed to raising awareness of executive function skills and their impact on children’s development and relationships. We have developed a range of resources and support that give everyone access to help with their executive functions. From CiM learning with our cost effective short courses to one to coaching through Connections in Mind, there is something for everyone.

Executive Functions Experts

Learn from the industry's leading executive function experts, putting neuroscience at the core of our approach.

Learn at Your Own Pace

Our self-paced courses with short, digestible videos are designed to fit around your busy lives.

Courses to suit everyone

Our courses are designed to embed executive functions in all parts of our lives - whether that is at home, at work or at school.

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