Executive Functioning 101 for Women with ADHD

In the next few articles I would like to demystify what Executive Functioning is for women with ADHD. After you are done reading my series on EF, I want you to walk about thinking “Wow, I now have a pretty good grasp of Executive Functions, I have a better understanding of why you have difficulty organizing, planning and creating timelines to complete task, and most importantly you will learn strategies on how overcome EF challenges. So you may be asking yourself Coach Jenna what is Executive Functioning.  

Executive Functioning can be described as a set of high order mental skills that allows you to get things done. EF allows women with ADHD analyze tasks, plan on how to take on the task, organize the steps required to carry out the task, create timelines for completing the task, use flexibility to adjust to changes needed to complete the task, and to finish a task in a timely manner. 

The executive functioning deficit skills makes it hard to gather information and structure. While some women with ADHD may have learned tips or strategies to help compensate, many women still continue to fail to meet their daily responsibilities and experience difficulties at home or work. Some of the signs that there may be some difficulties with EF in women with ADHD not being able to manage time well, not being able to remember details, misplacing and losing possessions, difficulty delaying responses, difficulty with setting priorities, and difficulty with self-monitoring behavior, progress and emotions.

So what causes EF. Well, executive functioning is not a diagnosis (meaning it is not in the DSM V), instead it is a bunch of symptoms that may signal a host of other mental health or neurological conditions. Some of these conditions may include ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Schizophrenia

Unfortunately, there is no medication to eliminate the challenges that come along with executive functioning. However, there are strategies that can help you improve your time management, better manage your space, keep things from getting lost and improve work habits which I will be providing you in this series. 

Next time, i will be going into further details about each of the EF and strategies.