Procrastination’s link to kludgy Executive Functioning
Sunday, November 27, 2016 19 Comments
Getting a Round Tuit
CUTE — but not very helpful
© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Reflections from posts in the Challenges Series
Oh those clever seminar leaders!
We all love the little gifties that are passed out at a great many seminars we have attended, seminars designed to help us fashion lives that are more productive and enlivening.
Most of us have a list of things we intend to do when “we get around to it” — but I can’t imagine how being gifted with a little round reminder that we need to STOP “procrastinating” and “just DO it” is going to make one whit of difference.
In most cases it’s shaming, actually, regardless of how positive the humorous intent – and shame rarely works well as a motivational technique.
Related Post: The Top Ten Reasons to Reframe Procrastination
We need to look clearly at what’s going on
Follow through to completion is a linear process modulated by the prefrontal cortex [PFC], the brain’s “conductor” that keeps us on track and in action, step after step.
Our vanilla-flavored friends rarely appreciate the fact that they have an unconscious advantage in the linear processing department – what is frequently referred to as “declarative memory.” That makes certain kinds of information retrieval, organization and task completion, and – well, just about everything else – a heck of a lot easier for them.
With the ADD/EFD brain-style (and others with attentional spectrum dysregulations – all of us with Executive Functioning glitches), we seem to process sequential information in a fairly disjointed manner — the pieces somehow jumbled together — sometimes not recorded at all, even when we do our very best to keep our attention on matters at hand.
Too many guests at the EFD Table
Because the brain is soft and sloshes around in fluid inside a hard skull with bony protrusions – especially in the front area where the PFC is most vulnerable – any appreciable hit on the head is likely to result in a few problems with Executive Functioning.
Because the PFC is connected to almost every other part of the brain, it’s not much of a stretch to believe that strokes or medications that affect one one part of the brain are likely to have an effect on PFC connectivity as well.
Implication: any individual with a disorder, stroke or other brain damage affecting the prefrontal cortex is highly likely to experience brain-based executive functioning challenges of one sort or another.
In a nutshell, “Executive Function” is the mental ability to organize, prioritize, and accomplish tasks. It is figuring out what to do first, second, third, and so on, to see a task through to completion. Executive function involves things like being able to realistically determine, in advance, how long and how difficult a particular task will be to accomplish.
~ from a great 1st person article by PTSD advocate Linda Lee/LadyQuixote, Impaired Executive Function, My Invisible Disability
Connectivity challenges are experienced by individuals with mood disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, TBI/ABI, and more than a few neurological conditions such as sensory integration disorders, Parkinson’s, dyslexia — in fact, almost all of what I refer to as the alphabet disorders.
Due to the way the brain ages, even individuals who were born with the neurotypical brain style will begin to notice increasingly more Executive Functioning struggles as they get older.
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Working twice as hard for half as much
Based on the comments many of us here in “Alphabet City” have received, the assumption of the neurotypical world seems to be that we EFD-flavored folk prefer to sit around on our hands, rather than spending regular time on task. Not necessarily so – in fact, rarely so.
Since our EFD challenges are at the foundational, logistical level,
they become much bigger roadblocks than many understand (or believe).
Regardless of intelligence and drive, most of us with Executive Functioning deficits are, effectively, “learning disabled” where building cognitive maps are concerned, in a brain-based manner that involves short term memory deficits as well as a number of other neuro-links that are a tad kludgy.
And our struggles are not limited to finding our way physically, either.
Moving forward always means slogging through the backwaters until and unless we figure out where the ROADS are located and how they are inter-connected.
We need a cognitive GPS to avoid hours lost in the swamps.
But FIRST we have to locate the “you are here” part of the map.
Sherlocking our struggles
To echo something from Living within the boundaries of TIME:
Some of us have a greater than average struggle with Executive Functions, ADD/EFDers and their cognitive kissing cousins in particular. ONLY when we take the time to Sherlock the details of how and why we get stuck are we able to figure out what might work to help us get UNstuck!
And I promise you that it is RARELY as simple or straightforward as those self-help books and seminars designed for neurotypical brains might lead you to believe. Everything depends on how any particular task intersects with your particular Challenges Profile™.
Related Post: The Link between Procrastination & Task Anxiety
Solving a complex puzzle
One of the models that those who sign up for Group Coaching will be encouraged to use is referred to by many coaches – “vanilla” and brain-based alike – as Symptom-Source-Solution.
In the prior article I gave you a quick run-through of this model, using it to Sherlock some of the Symptoms and Sources behind troubles with TIME.
As for SOLUTIONS — yet again, how much reading time do you have?
Do yourselves a favor and sign-up for Group Coaching, where we can concentrate on your particular symptoms and sources, and come up with solutions that can – really no kidding – change your life.
PLEASE don’t keep trying to do things the hard, slow way.
Enroll for some practical help,
and you are in NO danger that any Round Tuits will be thrown your way.
If you can afford private coaching, we can concentrate solely on your life and you will see changes more quickly, but Group Coaching is a low-cost alternative that sure beats the frustrations of struggling along from day to day, trying a bazillion things (again) that never worked very well in the past.
As I said in an earlier article: Until they believe they can, they can’t!!
How many times will you be able to keep “trying”
before you decide it’s impossible?
Not sure? Let me know you are interested in the comments section below and FOLLOW so that I will have an email address to contact you before class registration closes, or if a spot opens up subsequently. (at the top of the rightmost column, right above the spam counter).
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- Madelyn Griffith-Haynie Trainer Bio
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You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.
For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —
For Readers: related articles – right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
- Brain-based Coaching with Madelyn Griffith-Haynie
- The Group Coaching LinkList to all of the articles in that category
A Few LinkLists by Category (to articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com)
- The Optimal Functioning (Challenges) Series of articles
(about the Inventory & articles from each category)
- The TaskMaster™ Series
- Time & Time Management articles
- The Transition Tamer™ Series
- The Stuff and Nonsense™ Series (clutter management)
- Top Ten Reasons to Reframe Procrastination
Related Articles ’round the net
- How memory is lost: Loss of memory due to aging may be reversible
- You Don’t Have a Procrastination Problem, You Have an Impulsivity Problem
- Stress breaks loops that hold short-term memory together
- Puttering, Frittering Away a Lifetime
- How To Get To The Root of Your Procrastination
- neuroplasticity: our brains change continuously during our lives
BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.