Executive Function Skills Checklist

Evaluate Your Executive Function Skills

The checklist below is a self-reflection tool (based upon the work of Dawson & Guare, 2016) designed to help you evaluate your executive function skills.

Read each item and decide if it is something that you are good at (a strength), or if it is something that you struggle with (a weakness). Mark each item as either a Strength or a Weakness.

1) Thinking before you act, being able to resist the urge to say or do something (long enough so that you can evaluate the situation & decide how you would like to respond).

2) Remembering/keeping information in mind while completing other complex tasks. Keeping track of the things you need to remember to do, the commitments you have made, upcoming appointments, etc..

3) Keeping your emotions in check (even in stressful situations) so that you can achieve your goals, complete tasks, control and direct your behaviour.

4) Getting started on tasks, projects, and obligations right away without procrastinating. Beginning projects without undue procrastination, in an efficient and timely fashion.

5) Staying focused on a task or situation until completed – despite distractbility, fatigue, or boredom. Screening out distractions so that you can complete tasks, even the ones that you find tedious, effortful, or boring.

6) Creating a roadmap to reach your goals or to complete tasks. Visualizing and sequencing the steps needed to complete multistep tasks. Making decisions about what’s important to focus on and what’s not important.

7) Creating and maintaining systems to keep track of information or materials. Keeping your school, work, and/or living space neat and tidy. Having a place for everything and keeping everything in its place.

8) Estimating how much time you have, using your time efficiently, working within time limits and meeting deadlines. Having a good sense of time/awareness of time. Meeting deadlines, being on time for appointments, class and/or meetings.

9) “Going with the flow”. Easily adjusting your plans in the face of obstacles, setbacks, new information, or mistakes. Easily adapting to new situations, unexpected changes, without being “thrown for a loop”.

10) Observing and evaluating your own problem-solving and thinking abilities. Asking yourself “How am I doing?” Or “How did I do?”. Making connections between concepts and experiences. Being able to see the “forest through the trees”.

11) Setting long-term goals, following through on goals to completion. Getting back on track quickly, working around obstacles when they arise. Not being distracted by competing interests.

12) Surviving and thriving in stressful situations. Coping with uncertainty, change, and multiple demands upon your performance.