Personal effectiveness strategies – Best of You supports
The 10 steps to improving your executive skills through effortful practice
- Identify a specific activity that you find challenging or pick an activity idea from one of the modules that you have taken. Can you see how this activity is associated with your personal executive skills profile? Choosing something that requires daily practice is ideal because this gives you an opportunity for regular practice. If this activity is either difficult for you or if it is something that you really don’t like doing, then practicing it is likely to be an effort at the start.
- Describe your current level of performance. This is your baseline and will help you to set a realistic goal for yourself. Knowing your current performance also helps you measure your improvement.
- Set your goal. You need to set a goal that is realistically achievable by you.
- Set a realistic date by which time you plan to have reached your goal.
- Make a plan: a. What activity are you going to practice?. b.What time each day will you practice? c. Decide how long will you practice for. Keep your practice sessions to just a couple of minutes at the start when practice is more effortful. You can increase the duration of practice as your skill improves.d.Writing down your plan forms a commitment to yourself around what you need to do.
- Decide the day and time you will start.a.Create an implementation intention: I will [state the activity you want to practice] on [state the date and time of day] at [state the location where you will do this].
- Create visible and audible reminders of your plan–a post-it note on your fridge, and/or a daily alarm on your phone. If you decide to do something after an existing routine that you do, this will also remind you.
- Stick to your plan. This can often be the hardest part so keep your practice sessions short, to begin with. It will be easier to aim for two minutes of effortful practice rather than an hour!
- Be positive and confident that you will improve. Imagine the benefits you will enjoy when you have mastered this skill and how you will feel if you are successful
- Keep yourself motivated by positively reinforcing practice with small rewards for effortful practice. By associating something nice with effortful practice, in time we can train ourselves to start to look forward to doing something that once was a struggle.
Personal effectiveness strategies-Best of Yousupports
Every week write a goal in your notes option on your phone so that you see it every time your screen is active.
Use a weekly schedule template to organise your time. Create your own or download this template. Block out lecture periods and work time and use the schedule to plan study time and social time.
Use visual cues to remind you of your goals. You need to visualise what success will look like so that you know when you have achieved it! Having a picture representing your long-term goal that you pin-up in a prominent place or use as your phone screen saver is a good way to continually remind yourself of your goal.
If time is precious or if you are finding it difficult deciding what you need to do, try using this matrix to work out what activities you need to prioritize