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Task initiation

9 Ways to Model Task Initiation

Posted In Teaching On May 2, 2023

Task Initiation is an executive function that describes the ability to get started on projects, assignments, and tasks without procrastinating. Students who struggle with task initiation are often seen as lazy or unmotivated, but many times they are just stuck without a clear understanding of how to tackle even seemingly small tasks. They also have a difficult time coming up with ideas or solutions to problems, and these struggles can make it impossible for them to stay caught up with their classmates or complete their work.  You can show students ways to break down large tasks, brainstorm ideas, get started, and stay on task by modeling the following behaviors:

  • Show students how to use a checklist to help identify and initiate tasks during a large assignment or project.
  • When having a hard time starting a task, explain why it is difficult and how you can find a motivator to get started.
  • Show students how to brainstorm a topic by writing everything you can think of without worrying about writing the correct ideas.
  • Share a task you tend to forget and explain which reminder you chose to help you remember to get started.
  • When feeling overwhelmed, show students your process for breaking down the large project into more manageable pieces.
  • Share a problem that is making you feel stuck and explain how you brainstorm multiple solutions to work through it.
  • Show students a routine you have created to help you complete tasks during a time of day when you tend to lose focus.
  • Share your greatest distraction to starting your work and explain what solutions you have put in place.
  • When preparing for tests, show students how to create study plan to get started and keep focused.


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