Learning and Sharing

Effective Strategies and Practical Ideas for Getting Things Done

on May 20, 2018


What should you do if you often arrive at tennis lessons without your tennis bag?  What if you need constant reminders to go upstairs and put on your socks before putting on your shoes?  You put on your “future glasses”, start with the end in mind and then go back and figure out how to get there!

I have quite a few clients who need strategies to frame how they function in the world.  Sarah Ward, M.S., CCC-SLP http://( has given us a fantastic strategy from her executive function-directed therapy.

How do we get started?  First, we decide on an activity that is considered a constant issue.  In this case, it’s getting to tennis lessons with everything needed.  My first question is, “What will you look like when you are ready to go?” and with that “picture” in mind, we decide on a plan for what we need to get get ready.  Next, we decide on the steps to take.



This client told me that just having a list of words to guide him through the process was not helpful. His self-awareness prompted him to ask for pictures.


What about prompting and cues?  Sarah Ward tells us, “Don’t cue to do – cue to know what to do”. As we practice timed relays for getting ready and out the door with everything he needs, I ask questions such as, “How are you going to know when you are ready?” and “Would you do anything differently?”.

Slow processing speed can impact all areas of executive function.  Can slow processing speed improve?  Practice, practice, and practice!   Research shows that repeating a task makes it become more automatic and quicker to process.  Practicing timed activities that challenge learners to “beat their best time” can help build processing speed.  Strategies such as Get Ready-Do-Done and visuals including lists, schedules, and timers in addition to cognitive modeling and thinking aloud procedural steps provide a framework for successfully managing tasks.

Lucky for all of us using the Get Ready-Do-Done strategy, post-it pads and dry erase boards are available on Amazon or on the Cognitive Connections website



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