Does anyone else feel like life has become a bit of a circus? Like we have become clowns juggling on a stage in lineup of acts that are big, bright, bold and sometimes just outrageous. While this makes life very entertaining and stimulating, our executive functioning has arguable taken a bit of a hit. This is a term that encapsulates a set of cognitive processes that are essential for controlling and managing behaviors and emotions. These skills enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and manage multiple tasks effectively. As we progress into 2024, the role of executive functioning in our lives is crucial, so why are so many of us dropping the ball? Let’s explore what executive functioning entails, how technology influences it, and practical strategies to enhance these vital skills.

Understanding Executive Functioning

Executive functioning involves three main components:

1. Working Memory: The ability to hold and manipulate information over short periods.
2. Cognitive Flexibility: The capacity to switch thinking between different concepts or to think about multiple concepts simultaneously.
3. Inhibitory Control: The skill to control impulses and resist distractions.

These components work together to help individuals manage their thoughts, actions, and emotions to achieve goals.

The Impact of Technology on Executive Functioning

In 2024, technology continues to be a double-edged sword in terms of its influence on executive functioning. Here are some key impacts:

1. Distraction and Multitasking: The constant notifications and switching between tasks can fragment our attention, making it harder to focus on single tasks. Seriously – how often do we get ‘binged’ to check our phones, emails, socials, or messages throughout the day! It’s wild. And the reality is that for many of us it is slowly diminishing our capacity to wait, be patient, and hold off for those longer-term rewards.

2. Information Overload: With an abundance of information at our fingertips, it is not surprising that our brains get overwhelmed. When this happens, it makes it hard to organize and prioritize all the facts and opinions that are out there. To make things easier we can start to become a little rigid in our thinking and ideas. With so much to process and consider, sometimes it is easier to cut information that is different or inconsistent with what we know. It’s almost a form of self-preservation – making it easier to sort through the information we already have onboard.

3. Reduced Face-to-Face Interaction: Increased reliance on digital communication can impact our social skills, such as interpreting non-verbal cues and managing social interactions effectively. This can make us more sensitive and anxious when we are around others, unsure what they might be thinking and feelings about us.

Ways to Improve Executive Functioning

Despite the challenges posed by technology, there are numerous strategies we can employ to bolster our thinking, reasoning and planning skills. The great thing is that they are all accessible, available and free. As it turns out, we can have all the fancy gadgets in the world, but when it comes to looking after ourselves and improving our functioning, eating well, taking a moment to breathe, reading a book, silencing your notifications, and putting your phone on DND could go a long way. Here are a few more suggestions:

1. Mindfulness and Meditation: Yup, you know it. Practices that enhance mindfulness can improve attention, reduce stress, and enhance inhibitory control. Apps like Headspace and Calm offer guided sessions tailored for busy lifestyles.

2. Physical Exercise: Regular physical activity is known to boost cognitive function, including thinking and problem-solving skills. Activities like yoga, running, or even daily walks can significantly improve working memory and cognitive flexibility.

3. Digital Detox: Setting aside specific times of the day to unplug from digital devices can help reduce the cognitive load and improve focus. Designate “tech-free” zones or times, such as during meals or before bedtime.

4. Organizational Tools: Utilizing tools like planners, to-do lists, and calendar apps can aid in managing tasks and deadlines more effectively. Apps like Todoist or Trello can help prioritize and organize tasks systematically.

5. Cognitive Training Games: Engaging in brain training apps like Lumosity or Peak can help sharpen various aspects of executive functioning through targeted exercises designed to improve memory, flexibility, and problem-solving skills.

6. Healthy Sleep Habits: Ensuring adequate and quality sleep is fundamental for optimal executive functioning. Establish a consistent sleep schedule and create a restful environment to enhance cognitive performance.

7. Nutrition and Hydration: A balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and staying hydrated can support brain health and cognitive function.


Executive functioning remains a cornerstone of our ability to navigate an increasingly complex and tech-driven world. While technology poses certain challenges to our cognitive skills, it also offers tools and resources to help manage and improve these functions. By integrating mindfulness practices, physical exercise, digital detoxes, organizational tools, cognitive training games, healthy sleep habits, and nutrition, we can bolster our executive functioning and enhance our overall quality of life.

Investing time and effort into improving executive functioning not only boosts productivity and efficiency but also enriches our personal and professional relationships, leading to a more balanced and fulfilling life. If you have real concerns about your executive functioning skills, have tried all the things, and are still struggling, chat with our friendly team. An ADHD assessment might be appropriate.

Sarah x

Juggling too many balls