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Executive Dysfunction at Work in Best Colleges

  • According to psychologist Dr. Shauna Pollard, things that disrupt the developmental process can create executive dysfunction.
  • Pollard says executive dysfunction also presents in other neurological conditions, such as dementia, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury. It’s part of many other mental health conditions, such as major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia.

Pollard also said that age-related memory decline can create executive function challenges. Trauma can contribute to these issues as well because of the way it impacts and changes the brain.

  • Pollard added more challenges to the list, mentioning that people can have trouble starting tasks involving multiple steps, concentrating for long periods of time, or working on repetitive/tedious tasks. They may also forget to do things if their bosses only mention them in passing since working memory is one of the main executive functions.
  • Pollard suggests therapy as a way to help with executive dysfunction. Pollard says that therapy can help you develop new behaviors and better coping skills for emotional regulation. Dealing with executive dysfunction may also cause you to feel shame and insecurity. You may benefit from therapy to work through these feelings.
  • According to Pollard, things that can trigger executive dysfunction include increased anxiety, mental health challenges, neurological injury, trauma, addiction, poor diet, and insomnia. Pollard also says infections (like COVID-19), pregnancy, and acute/chronic pain can contribute.
  • Pollard suggests starting with one task that seems simple. She gives the example of responding to just one email. Then you can build momentum to move to other tasks.
  • Break both big and small tasks into super-small segments. Writing down each step within a task can make it more manageable. There are even sites like GoblinTools that can do this for you. Laying it out like this will make prioritization easier.
  • If you’re prone to distraction, move to a quiet place when you need to focus. If that’s not possible, try to create a quiet place by using headphones or earplugs to block out the noise around you.

Read the full article on Best Colleges