BY PEG DAWSON, Ed.D., AND RICHARD GUARE, Ph.D. (Guilford Press; paperback, $16.95)
In their bestselling books Smart but Scattered and Smart but Scattered Teens, psychologists Peg Dawson and Richard Guare introduced a formula to help kids and teens overcome weak executive functioning. Now, in their new book, the authors apply their well-honed approach to assist adults with executive skill challenges.
“Our goal is to help readers understand how executive skills are our best defense against the pressures we face at home, in the workplace, and in our relationships,” they write. They divide executive skills — the brain-based abilities to get more done with less stress — into 12 categories, including response inhibition, emotional control, task initiation, and goal-directed persistence.
The book offers simple and effective strategies for maintaining focus, dealing with clutter, and getting through busy days of family life. Dawson and Guare use science-based tools to improve each executive function — including modifying the physical or social environment, modifying the task, making a specific plan, setting a deadline, and externalizing the behavior you are working on. And what you can’t change, they show you how to work around.