Hello, I'm Lizette, an occupational therapist with a fervor for assisting those with dementia and their caregivers. At Dementia Caregiving Made Easy, our mission is to change the perspective on dementia.

Today, we'll dive into two executive functions that impact daily life: time management and emotional regulation.

Memory Basics: A Recap

From our previous discussion, we remember that memory consists of:

Working Memory:

This is the ultra-short-term storage where information stays for less than 30 seconds. Think of it as the place where you keep a phone number in mind just long enough to jot it down.

Short-term Memory

If you rehearse or use the information enough, it transitions here. This is where phone numbers you frequently use reside.

Long-term Memory:

Over time, some memories are solidified and stored permanently. For instance, my grandmother's phone number from my childhood!

Time Management and its Impact on Daily Life

How well can you estimate time?

Let's play a game. I'll start a timer for a duration that's not a common whole number, and you'll guess how long it was when it beeps.

Now, for those struggling with time management:

Challenges in everyday tasks: 

Poor time management can affect daily routines, work, self-care tasks, and meeting appointments.

Difficulty in Estimation:

Those with this difficulty might not gauge how long tasks take, or when to start preparing for an appointment.

Lack of Time Awareness

This is seen in young children who frequently ask, "Are we there yet?" during car rides because they haven't yet developed a sense of time.

Miscalculating Time Elapsed:

This can manifest as repeatedly asking if it's dinner time when it's just been breakfast.

Recalling Time-Based Events:

Such individuals might forget when significant events happened in their life.


A frequent inability to be on time, misjudging traffic, and difficulty reading an analog clock can also be signs.

It's crucial to note that the brain's frontal and temporal lobes govern time estimation and management.

The Importance of Emotional Regulation and Locus of Control

What is Emotional Regulation?

It's the ability to remain balanced emotionally. Those with a strong internal locus of control often possess good emotional regulation.

They are resilient to daily annoyances and challenges, much like water off a duck's back.

On the contrary, those with an external locus of control might find it challenging to manage their emotions.

Signs include:

  • Getting easily frustrated.

  • Displaying socially inappropriate behavior like shouting, throwing things, or using harsh words.

Assessing Emotional Regulation with a Quick Test

Want to gauge someone's emotional regulation?

Here's a simple test:

  1. Draw a line across a paper.

  2. Recall events from the week, asking your loved one how they felt.

  3. Mark happy events above the line and sad or frustrating ones below.

  4. Connect the dots.

If there's a broad spread, it indicates potential emotional regulation issues.

In Conclusion

Today, we unraveled the intricacies of time management and emotional regulation, two pivotal executive functions. And if you guessed the timer's duration correctly, kudos! If not, it was four minutes.

A fun way to self-assess time management, wasn't it?

Thank you for joining in. Stay blessed and keep thinking differently about dementia!

Let me know in the comments below if you have questions about dementia that you need answered.

If you would like more information on how to help a parent living with dementia, join our next free workshop here.

Read More:

Why Having Your Parent With Dementia Help With Their Grooming Is Good For Them

Why Having Your Parent With Dementia Be Independent With Eating And Drinking Is Good For Them.

Subscribe To Dementia Caregiving For Families Podcast

If you feel like dementia caregiving is hard and unpredictable and you are struggling to help a spouse or a parent living with dementia, join our next free workshop.

Join our Facebook Group at: 

Become a  Member of Our Exclusive Program!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

About the author

“Think Different” Dementia’s owner, Lizette Cloete, OTR/L graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1992. Lizette has almost 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings, the latest being in the home health environment. She enjoys teaching on the topic of dementia, most recently presenting at a national conference on the topic “Dementia Made Simple”.

Disclaimer: These blogs, videos and any work done by Lizette Cloete OT, as a Member of Think Different Dementia, LLC, is given only as educational content and consulting work. This does not create an Occupational Therapist-Patient Relationship. The educational content and consulting work performed should not be considered medical treatment as an Occupational Therapist. The consulting work does not take the place of medical work normally performed by a licensed Occupational Therapist. Please consult a licensed Occupational Therapist for medical advice.

Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!