beyond booksmart logo

Executive Function Strategies Blog

A Day in the Life of a 10th Grader with Executive Function Challenges

Morning Mad Dash: 6:57 AM - Scrambling Out the Door

Olivia has to catch the bus at 7:30, and she likes to sleep in until 6:45 … and maybe hit the snooze button one or two times after that. That leaves her about half an hour to madly dash about the house eating breakfast, choosing an outfit, brushing her teeth, packing her lunch, changing after reconsidering her outfit, texting her friends, returning to the original outfit, and - if time allows - packing her homework from the night before. With this routine, Olivia has felt frustrated a few times when - despite assuring her teachers that she really, totally did the homework the night before - she hasn’t been able to actually turn it in and get credit.



How to Manage a Busy Schedule: The Planning Power of Shared Calendars

  • My sister is going to visit my parents this weekend; maybe I should plan to do the same.
  • My dog has a vet appointment next week at the same time that my fiancé has a meeting; I guess I’ll be on my own with doggy duty.
  • There’s a Red Sox home game at the same time as my field hockey game near Fenway on Monday; I’ll need to leave pretty early to get there.

Am I blessed with clairvoyance? Well, almost...allow me to explain exactly how my busy schedule became more manageable with the help of a little technology.



How Can Students Learn Better Time Management Skills?

It takes me three minutes to fill my car with gas. I can empty the dishwasher in six. Mowing the lawn, on the other hand, takes an hour and ten minutes. Each of these facts may seem overly specific and insignificant, but knowing exactly how long these tasks, and others like them, will take helps me plan and manage my time. This leads to well-planned, low-stress days and optimal emotional regulation. As an Executive Function coach, I teach students to budget their time in the same way. Better yet, my coach colleagues and I know that time management tools like these can stick with our students well beyond their academic lives.



Planning for Test Prep Success: SAT, ACT, AP, Oh My!

Editor's note: This week, we welcome guest blogger Ben Sexton, founder of Sexton Test Prep and Tutoring, located in Wellesley, MA. Please read his complete bio below.