Internal experience of using Executive Functioning

The ramblings are coming thick and fast to me this morning.

As I said in my previous post, I listened to a TED talk which mentioned the fact that EF is needed when learning a new skill, in the "conscious incompetence" & maybe "conscious competence" phase if you know the Four Stages of Competence model.

This got me reflecting on the internal feelings associated with using EF to concentrate consciously on something. For me, unless there is an associated state of Flow (which would be more likely once EF is no longer needed so much and we are moving into unconscious competence), concentrating in order to learn, or to control impulses, delay gratification, remember something at the edge of memory, "hurts". It's a really difficult thing to describe, but there is a feeling of mental effort that verges on unpleasant unless there is an excitement about the learning that changes it into a more positive feeling.

I'm wondering if there are clues here related to motivation, discipline, overcoming procrastination, *plus* why these things become harder after burnout; the relevant aspects of EF weakened by burnout maybe?