Executive Functioning Systems

In this new and helpful installment about Executive Functions of our brain, Madelyn Griffith-Haynie explains why we need to WRITE THINGS DOWN! (The caps are for me!) Please, read on…

ADD . . . and-so-much-more

EF Management Tips and Tricks – Part III
Time, Memory & Organization Systems
to Develop into Habits

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
PART THREE: In support of The Executive Functioning Series

The Quick Review:

In the introduction to this 4-part article, I went over some of the concepts underlying the systems approach and why it works.

Essentially, systems and habits help us conserve cognitive resources for when they are really needed.

I added the caveat that nothing works for everyone any more than ONE SIZE FITS ALL very well.  For those of you who have the motivation and time to figure out how to make an “off the rack” outfit fit you perfectly, be sure to skip past the literal interpretation to read for the sense of the underlying principles.

For the REST of you: if you can’t “sew” and are disinclined to take the time…

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Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (http://fiorabooks.com), to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

11 thoughts on “Executive Functioning Systems”

  1. I woke up to see this, John – and you started my day with a smile. Thank you.

    I hope your community will read it now, so that when I get to the article about the effectiveness of paper vs. “device” mind jogs they’ll have it as background.

    There’s only so much I can put in a single article that people have time to read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand, Madelyn – better to chop them up the way you do. They are concept-intensive – so not a quick read and understand. Some passages I need to read more than once to make sure I understand. My wife is good at writing things down – I need to improve… lazy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny – because it’s actually more work when we do NOT write things down (even if that “work” consists of compensating for dropped balls or apologizing for them).

        But I understand the struggle – even though I am 100% committed to the idea, do I do it 100% of the time? Nope – even when it bites me in the butt most of the time I don’t, my mind wants to argue that *sometimes* it works without writing things down. lol 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Question – how easy have you made it to write things down? Do you have ready access to something to write with and something to write on peppered around? Do you have a place where you keep your reminders (and a place to store them until they make it there?)

            For most people, that’s the real stopper: too big an interruption in the day to go collect the stuff, then write it down, then remember where we put the reminder, etc. etc. etc.

            It all goes back to systems and habits – a hassle to put into place initially, perhaps, but no more “trouble” than going to the bathroom once we have (and I’ll bet you are not too “lazy” to handle that little systematized chore – lol).

            Liked by 1 person

            1. When I’m at my desk, I have sticky notes I plaster to the edges of my computer screen and on the top of my desk – brightly colored. The problem is when I’m not at my desk. When I’m out of the house, I have my man bag (I’m liberated) where I always have a pen. Now I have to start carrying a small notebook or paper. None of this is easy – but as you say, it is about forming a habit.

              No, I don’t have to write notes to remember to go to the bathroom, but I have considered pull-ups! It’s such a bother! LOL

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I have notes and reminders all over the shelves above my computer desk (where I am most often). I am still working on making lists IN my datebook (a long-term habit that fell apart when my datebook was stolen by the thugs who left me with a broken hand and a cast for 3-months before I could make much of a dent in putting my systems back and replacing everything they stole).

                I also have a bulletin board behind the door between my office and the living room (that is usually open, hiding the mess of “longer-term” reminders and light-weight items I pin there).

                Now I know just where to look when it comes time to give Tink his heartworm pills or when that email comes telling me that it is time to renew my car’s license plates, etc.

                But where systems are concerned, I keep wondering about those pull-ups myself – lol.

                I keep reminding myself to be grateful for the warning instead of seeing it as a distraction, but nobody’s perfect. 🙂


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