Stopping time strategies

I'm the non-ADHD spouse and my husband was diagnosed about 3 yrs ago.  He has gone through phases of being great about being willing to work on adhd issues/develop systems that help him alternating with periods where it seems as if he has forgotten that the ADHD is even there, and resents it being brought up by me.  He is on medications, but likely not the optimal regimen for him as he doesn't seem to get much effect from it (he's working on this with his doctor).

One issue we have that I haven't seen addressed elsewhere in this forum is how to help the ADHD spouse pick a good stopping time from an activity and stick to it.  I realize that hyper focusing is ultimately not a good thing, but after days of him not being able to get started/get things done that he has committed to doing if he does get hyper focused he has a hard time stopping which usually ends up burning him out which leads to the next week being wasted!  I have to admit that I appreciate it when he is able to get things done as well, so when he is 'on a roll' part of me doesn't want him to stop either, as I know that even if he does stop at a decent time to get rest there is no guarantee that tomorrow he will be able to get going again.  We have tried making lists of jobs with times associated with them with the idea that he would set an alarm for that amount of time when starting the activity so he would be reminded to stop, but although he agrees to this in principle he hasn't been able to execute it.

This is particularly a problem right now as he is in school and has the summers off, so there is no external structure to help keep him on task.  I work full time and it is frustrating for me to go to work all day, come home and have him there having done nothing all day, and still have to clean up after him, make dinner etc (because he wouldn't 'see' that the kitchen was dirty so he wouldn't think to clean it.




On a Roll...

I am just over two years past my diagnosis at the tender young age of 43. I responded very well to the meds (Adderall) and became a machine for getting things done. In the old days, I never saw a problem unless it was blowing up in my face, then I scrambled to resolve the issue. I was oblivious to most things until my wife would ask me to do something. Now the problem is quite the opposite. I see all the things that need to be done and there is no way I can get to them all, so at first I would proceed the best I could and do them as I saw the importance. The problem was sometimes I would bust my A$$ on stuff that would go un-noticed or it was something that could have waited, which would infuriate me.

Then it dawned on me... The easiest solution in the world. We both work full time jobs during the week so weekends are project time. On Saturday morning I'll ask my DW "What are the top 3 things you would like to see me work on today?" Very simple and things have been very good since this has been in practice. Communication... Who would have ever thought it could help :)



Thanks for your reply yyz.

Thanks for your reply yyz.  I'm glad things are working so well for you!

It's not that we don't communicate or agree on what needs to be done.  It's that he'll either not be able to get started and waste the whole day, then when I come home finally be able to do some chores which means that we don't get to spend time during the evening together, or he'll get hyper focused and not want to stop, but continue so long that the next day he is totally burnt out and unable to do anything.  So we need helping getting him to be able to start tasks that seem boring, and quit tasks that he wants to continue with!



When the wife is away...

And I'm at home I usually have a few things lined up that I know she will appreciate being done and if these are not Big projects I'll mix in a few things I want to do that are really for me. I will set a maximum amount of time for my stuff and know I have to stick to the limit. I always start with a ho-hum household chore before I do one of mine. My days used to really get away from me before diagnosis, but now I am more focused on each task to get it done and move on. I understand what you say about him not wanting to stop on a project... Think about how many projects we know we have not finished. I really push through these days.

You are quite welcome, regarding the response, that's what we are hear for :-)