Protecting Your Brain 2017-09-02T18:21:55+00:00

Areas of Concentration for “Protecting Your Brain”

At ExecutiveFunctioning.Net we believe everyone has their “issues”. These current weaknesses when properly addressed, creates a significantly improved opportunity for success. We create an individualized program that concentrates not only on improving areas of weakness, but achieves maximized utilization of your current strengths. Below are various areas of Executive Brain Functioning that when addressed and managed differently, places YOU in a better position to be successful in all areas of your life! Even having one area below defined as a problem in your life, can cause significant distress at the personal, professional, or family levels. Respect the value in change!! Click Strengths or Weaknesses below the function to read examples of each.

Task Initiation


  • Returns e-mails and phone calls promptly


  • Gets out of bed and gets going quickly in the morning

Activates him/herself to start on a task

  • Follows through promptly on child’s school requirements

Procrastinates taking care of the things he/she doesn’t like to do

  • Puts off minor household jobs such as changing lights or doing the dishes after dinner
  • Has plans for professional success but never puts them into action

Has problems transitioning from one task to another and is slow to get moving

  •  Continues to watch TV rather than start to read a book or work on a household project


Plans a sequence that does not waste time

  • Puts aside money to pay for a down payment on a car
  • Defines and schedules professional networking opportunities in coordination with family schedule

Sets short- and long-term goals at home and work

  • Gets out of bed and gets going quickly in the morning; drops kids at practice, food shops, goes to the bank, makes dinner, and picks up kids at the end of practice

Has difficulty committing to plans

  • Forgets many needed items at the supermarket because of not using a shopping list

Cannot establish priorities and goals

  • Loses out on opportunities such as going to a favorite restaurant because of not making reservations or planning ahead


Easily finds things that he/she wants

  • Uses a calendar or planner to assist in keeping activities organized
  • Sits with spouse weekly to assess upcoming responsibilities

Keeps desk neat and materials accessible at work

  •  Daily cleanup of desktop including filing of necessary items

Designates a specified place for most things at home

  •  Puts away clothes in closets and drawers

Is always looking for something

  • Loses money, keys, wallet, and cell phone on a regular basis

Is often unsure of her schedule

  • Schedules two things for the same time

Time Management

Budgets time efficiently

  • Is on time for meetings and deadlines

Correctly estimates the amount of time needed to complete a task

  • Budgets time according to priorities at work and home so that he/she can be at kids’ games or family gatherings

Paces himself/herself to start and complete a job effectively

  • Pays bills on time

Is frequently late

  • Obsesses in cleaning the house, so that other responsibilities remain untouched

Has problems prioritizing

  • Is late to pick up kids, get to work, or go to an appointment creating stress and anxiety for self and others

May work very slowly

  • Underestimates how much time it will take to complete common errands such as going food shopping or making dinner


Can shift his/her approach

  • Adapts to unexpected changes in schedule

Learns from mistakes

  • Is adventurous, willing to try out new restaurants or listen to different music

Looks at other perspectives

  • Takes on new challenges at work or pursues additional training to develop new skills
  •  Let’s go of holding tight to one’s thoughts to truly understand those of others

Changes gears readily and solves problems

  • Able to take a break from professional tasks to manage family situation

Experiences problems with changes in routine and schedule

  • Becomes overly upset when a meeting or plans are changed

Becomes insistent and indignant in disagreements with others

  • Gets stuck and is unable to come up with new approaches when a previous solution or strategy no longer works

Sees only one side of a story

  • Becomes overwhelmed when uncomfortable leading to unhealthy emotional responses towards self and others

Is unwilling to try new activities, restaurants, TV shows or to meet new people

Self Awareness

Can take perspective on himself/herself and others.

  • Applies what he/she has learned in one situation to another, such as knowing what type of restaurant her family will like or what kind of movie to rent for their children

Is generally accurate in her assessment of his/her performance

  • Recognizes when he/she is tired and fatigued and how that creates negative reactions towards family, friends and co-workers

Knows strengths and weaknesses

  • Does not take on responsibilities such as coaching a child’s team when current responsibilities do not permit time

Is a good judge of his/her abilities, so to take on manageable tasks in varying situations

Does not recognize the impact of his/her behavior on others

  • Uses the same tactics or strategies that have failed repeatedly in the past

Can’t explain how he/she intends to approach or solve a problem

  • Often feels that things that happen to them are outside of their control, and typically the fault of others

Often acts before thinking and without consideration of his/her actions or anticipating consequences

  • Drinks excessively at family party when spouse is counting on their co-parenting

Response Inhibition

Stops and thinks before making an important decision

  • Delays making negative comments to spouse or boss

Takes time to read directions or analyze a problem before starting to do something

  • Checks over an important work assignment before handing it in

Can postpone immediate gratification

  • Makes a choice not to engage in an argument with a teenage son or daughter when angry

Speaks before thinking

  • Agrees to do something such as going out or helping someone when he/she has other commitments

Can be impulsive

  • Drinks or gambles too much without considering the impact

May not consider safety or long-term impact of an action

  • Shares derogatory information about others when feeling frustrated by them

Talks about something in conversations or at work without sufficient preparation

  • Gossips about co-worker without sufficient information

Regulation of Affect

Can regulate/control his/her emotions

  • Expresses frustration verbally

Can tolerate frustration

  • Finds something positive about a situation when things don’t go as planned

Is optimistic and positive

  • Calls a timeout when one senses emotional storm approaching

Is not overly reactive when criticized at work or by family or friends

  • Can reply to criticism with a well thought out response

Gets easily upset or angry

  • Goes into a “rage” or an angry display in response to perceived criticism

Is moody, often in response to minimal provocation

  • Becomes overly happy or despondent in response to a routine event

Stays upset for extended periods

  • Brings difficulty at home into work and vice-versa creating stress for others

Responds angrily to a critical phone call or e-mail at work

Stays angry or upset for an entire day, getting stuck in a “bad mood”

Social Awareness

“Reads” nonverbal cues and the feelings of others

  • Has many friends and is well-liked
  • Understands appropriate communication in work and social settings

Recognizes the needs of others

Sees other people’s perspectives

  • Is a good listener and thoughtful in times of stress for others

Is unaware of other people’s feelings

  • Unknowingly stands too close in conversations and makes others uncomfortable
  • Discusses inappropriate topics while with minors

Has difficulty understanding verbal cues such as social conventions and personal boundaries

  • Dominates conversations and does not listen to others

Sustained Attention

Maintains focus and attention for a sustained period of time

  • Can pay attention to something that while boring may be important

Ignores distractions

  • Keeps focus on a conversation with a child, even with distractions such as a television or other conversations in the room

Returns to an activity if interrupted and reengages attention

  • Starts on household tasks such as cleaning, is interrupted by taking a child to a practice, then returns to the task

Starts one thing after another without finishing them

  • Reads a book without paying attention to the content and needs to reread it

Gets bored easily

  • Daydreams at work, getting distracted by the computer, or loses track in conversations with coworkers

Is easily distracted by external events

  • Is told by spouse that he/she is not listening
  • Reaches for smartphone without need when engaged in social conversation

Goal-Directed Persistence

Sets goals and sustains ongoing efforts to complete them

  • Completes long-term tasks such as finishing a basement or maintaining a vegetable garden
  • Creates an exercise program and sets an “appointment” in one’s day to improve follow through

Sets and achieves long-term goals and persists in the face of difficulty, hardship, and grueling effort

  • Sets long-term personal goals such as building a business, saving money for a new home, or getting a college degree

Is bored by long-term tasks

  • Starts cleaning the garage or basement and gives up after an hour

Gives up readily when a job is perceived as overly difficult

  • Sets a goal of saving money for a down payment on a house but spends it on a new car

Working Memory

Follows multi-step directions

  • Does tasks without losing sight of other commitments or obligations

Remembers previous experiences and applies them in a current action

  • Remembers to do things when asked by spouse or boss

Remembers the details of a conversation, a project at work, or driving directions

  • Remembers people’s names in professional and social settings

Is absent-minded

  • Often forgets items he/she wants when food shopping

Needs frequent reminders to complete tasks

  • Starts on a project and forgets to do an important part of it

Has difficulty remembering multi-step directions

When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.

Carter G. Woodson