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Executive Function Strategies Blog

Sleep Deprivation: A Roadblock to Improving Executive Function

Here's a glimpse into a typical morning when I was in high school...

My sleep fogged brain hears my alarm as if from a distance. I had stayed up until 2:30am finishing a paper for history that I should have started weeks ago. I gather up enough strength to make the noise stop by snoozing my alarm until my mother encourages me out of bed. After dressing, I can’t remember if I brushed my teeth and I check to see if my toothbrush is wet. There’s no time to eat but I’m not concerned, since I hardly ever eat breakfast. The refreshing effects of my morning walk to school don't last long; I have trouble staying alert and focusing in my classes. Of course, I blame this on the boring material and teachers. I just feel so drained. Information that I should know is hard for me to recall. I find myself overly sensitive to my friends’ teasing and I'm on the verge of tears all day.

Day after day, this was the reality of high school for me and many of my friends.

Now that I am an adult looking back on this childhood memory, I recognize how establishing healthy sleep habits and building my Executive Function skills have provided me with insight and knowledge that allow me to teach others these skills. In other words, I am equipped to help my students avoid the struggles I had faced at their age.



Overcoming End of School Year Procrastination & Lack of Motivation

"Help! My child has senioritis — and she's only a freshman (or a 7th grader, or a 4th grader...)!"

Has your child spent hours staring at a piece of paper, futilely attempting to start some dreaded piece of homework? Has your daughter declared that she is “so over school"?



What do Marathon Training and Good Study Habits Have in Common?

This is the second entry in a 3-part blog series highlighting my preparation, process, and reflection for the upcoming Boston Marathon. My first entry was back in October of last year when I was nothing but sunny and optimistic in preparation for marathon training. One thing I'm discovering is that when I coach my students to develop good study habits, I'm preparing them for their own marathon of getting through their school year with confidence. 



Build Better Work Habits: How Your Brain Changes with Practice

When you work out your body, it’s usually because you’re looking to drop some fat. But when you work out your brain, you’re actually gaining some extra fat.

Don’t worry, it’s not likely to register when you step on your scale. This fat operates at the microscopic level to help lock in skills and routines. How does your brain help you build better work habits? Well, here’s a simplified view.