Students at Telos embark on a path toward enhanced executive functioning by enrolling in The Producer Path, our in-house executive function skill building program. The Producer Path involves didactic instruction in each of seven executive function skills, individualized coaching in applying the skills, and daily application in and outside of the classroom. Telos teachers foster classroom cultures that promote, require, and reward the use of the Seven Producer Skills.
Successful producers know how to manage time. They break large projects into smaller ones, prioritize them, and create a plan for completing them on time. Great time managers know it is important to rest, play, and have fun. They don't, however, "overdose" on leisure, leaving no time for other critical tasks.
Cluttered backpacks. Cluttered shelves. Cluttered bedrooms. Cluttered minds. Successful producers create systems that organize their lives. By being organized they get more done with less effort.
TASK INITIATION & COMPLETION
The most successful and effective people know how to self-start. They can look at an overwhelming task, feel the reluctance, and "dig in" anyway. They know how to stick to the task until it's complete.
Attention is our brain's ability to focus on one part of what is going on around us while at the same time ignoring other things that are happening. Many people struggle to tune out distractions, especially when bored or disinterested with the task at hand. Most great accomplishments have required hard work and focus through periods of discouragement.
Producers are able to think about how they are thinking. They are able to recognize when they are stuck. They know when to ask for help. They understand their weaknesses and use strategies to counter them. They have the ability to stop and reflect on their work, making needed corrections. They are self-aware.
FLEXIBILITY & SHIFTING
Cognitive flexibility is the ability to consider something from multiple mindsets, shifting from one mindset to the other easily and quickly. The opposite of cognitive flexibility is ridged thinking, or getting stuck in seeing something from only one mindset.
People with lower working memory struggle to hold much information in their mind as they are completing projects. As a result they can struggle with large projects, complex tests, and balancing multiple commitments. They tend to "drop the ball" frequently by forgetting about assignments and commitments. There are practices and techniques both students and teachers can use to increase working memory.