What is your strategy for limiting computer time?

I am trying to begin using some tips and suggestions that I have found in various ADHD books to treat some of my symptoms.  One of my biggest issues is extreme HYPERFOCUS.  I can get really obsessed about something and cannot seem to balance it with other areas of my life.  One of the ways that I really struggle with this is trying to make myself get OFF the computer after a reasonable length of time.  I can surf for HOURS and it feels like minutes!  This frequently interferes with other things I need to do (like going to bed at night!  It is 12:10am right now.).  Can anyone share a strategy that works for you on helping to limit yourself on the computer?  I can get on Facebook or a site like this and read blogs and posts for hours and if I am researching something, I feel like I have to see ALL the resources available.  Links are never-ending...You can just go here and there and everywhere on the Internet!   And I can't seem to stop myself.  Sometimes I forget to eat!  Help!

Aren't you the one I related

Aren't you the one I related to the other day...about how you can only focus on one big 'life' issue at a time? If so, this is something else we have in common.

I have started trying something new...I have about 4 or 5 things that I need (in my mind) access daily. I come here, FB, my 2 e-mails, and my school stuff. I check each, then I do something productive for a while. Something that has helped me recently is setting a daily goal of one thing I want to get done...such as cleaning the kitchen...and after my morning check of everything, I shut the top to my computer and go do it. I find that once I get started, I manage to accomplish more than just this, so it has really helped me a lot. I got so caught up in my computer that I would literally spend days doing very little but being on the computer. I have also set limits of an hour...and setting a timer. For me, it is a matter of knowing that I'll go to bed much more satisfied with how I spent my day if I don't spend it on the computer. That helps, as I need that sense of pride right now. I like that feeling more than I like spending countless hours flipping back and forth between everything online.

Silly NonADDer :-)

That sounds like me... FB, my Car Forum Boards, This Site all open while I work... Then when my brain hurts from writing code, I check for updates, then back to work. Smoker's get Smoke Breaks, so why can't I get Social Networking Breaks :-)  

Are you sure?!

Sherri, you are making me laugh!  Yes, I am the one you replied to the other day.  Are you SURE you are the non-ADHDer in the family?  I think maybe you relate to me a little "too" much! :)  Ha ha!

I could give a long list of

I could give a long list of things about myself that would fit the ADHD description, but I am not sure I would fit the diagnosis. I will admit (never admitted this before) there are things that I have been right in the middle of being mad at my husband for and thought "damn, I do the same thing". :-/

I do not forget my things, lose my things, forget my kids' stuff, forget events, forget to give my son his meds...even if it gets down to the wire, they always have clean clothes..I can knock out several loads in one day and catch up. The only problems I have in school (returned to college after being out for 20+ years) are reading assignments. I do not like to read material and try to learn it. I do best in lecture and note taking. I'm afraid I am getting ready to make my first B since starting back a year ago, in a class that is 100% reading and taking tests (we only meet once a month for a few hours of lecture that rarely covers even 10% of the material).

Oh the other hand, I struggle with keeping my house clean (I HATE cleaning), I go to start one thing, which reminds me I need to do another, so I end up doing 4 things down the chain of things that I went to do in the first place. This is especially hard in the mornings when I'm preparing my son's meals for school (special diet), having to get his meds together, having to remember to give the cat his meds, remembering to pack anything my son might need for school (extra clothes, snacks), and trying to scramble eggs, cook sausage on the George Foreman, and microwave broccoli for his lunch. Oh shoot! It is 7:15 and I haven't even gotten him up yet! Well, let me scramble the eggs first, then I'll get him up. I scramble eggs, pack them in his lunch pail, pack the sausage, broccoli, extra clothes, etc! Damn! It's 7:25 now..we need to leave in 10 minutes...and I haven't even gotten him up yet. Did I get his meds out of the cabinet? No, shit..I meant to but opened the cabinet and saw the coffee and made a cup for my husband...and forgot to get the meds out.  Calgon! LOL If this sounds ADHD, please just don't tell me. :-P I think many adults, especially busy ones, feel this kind of thing every morning. I wake up with a to-do list (especially with a special needs son) everyday...it is tiring.

Anyway...not sure...just know that I do beat myself up a lot for things that don't get done around the house. One of the most hurtful things a woman said to me once...who was supposed to be a dear friend of mine (we lived across the hall from each other in apartments) was "Are you going to take care of it?" when I told her we were building our house. I always knew I lacked the domestic goddess gene, but that stung. I go through phases (like right now) where it stays clean...but other times it will just be 'hitting the high spots' for weeks. Just so many other things I would rather do than clean.

fuzzylogic72's picture

reading

Is your coursework through correspondence? I'm taking a course (signed up a year ago, bought 3 extensions for 165 bucks each, and havent startedit!) and it's due in less than a month (a 12 month course). I sat in my chair surfing the net (mainly on this site) for 10-12 hours straight; think I could have done some course work maybe? An hour at least? NOPE. And my career is riding on it.

I have had 2 strictly online

I have had 2 strictly online courses, 2 'internet' courses (meet once a month for testing/lecture), and the rest have been traditional classroom. I do better in traditional classroom. I figured out just about exactly how long it took me to do my work for my online courses and waited those amount of days before something was due to start it. My medical terminology class had 2 chapters/1 test due each Monday by midnight. I would do all of the work in one day..usually taking me 10 hours or so, with breaks in between for eating and feeding the kids and such. I do OK with classes like that, but I do tend to wait until the last minute...but still get all A's.

Time to sit down and create a plan, allot some time to DEDICATE to your project, and get busy! ;-)

for gosh sake Charlie

Get that d%^^%&ed thing started or I will get in my car and drive down to Cowtown and keep looking until I find you and whip your hinny.

dunno, Sherri, could be.

Maybe you are ADHD, but highly functional, and have lots of coping strategies.  AND maybe that's why you get so upset with your husband:  you recognize the same struggles in yourself.  your mornings sound just like mine!  As for the housekeeping I totally understand.  I hate cleaning too.  One time I was looking through a photo album at my aunt's house.  (she and my uncle have an immaculate house)  I was looking at pictures they took while visiting us.  On of the photos was of my dresser, covered with clutter, another photo was a desk covered in clutter and the kitchen with dishes & clutter on the counter.....  you get the idea.  I was so hurt that they'd found my disorganization so funny they took photos for souvenirs!

Interesting what you say...

Interesting what you say here, "Maybe you are ADHD, but highly functional, and have lots of coping strategies.  AND maybe that's why you get so upset with your husband:  you recognize the same struggles in yourself." Long before I knew I had ADD, I discovered that I butted-heads with my youngest of two daughters. I thought I had parenting 101 down to a science, but with daughter #2, my tactics were not working at all. I found that she frustrated me to a level that I could not believe. Well big surprise, after my two year study of ADHD and watching her grow up, I know she is just like me. She plays like I used to play, she is so mechanically inclined and breaks everything into it's components, she does not like explanations like "Just because" or "Because that's the way it is", Not good enough! She wants to "Understand" what she is taking time to understand. She is borderline genius and I am a biased dad, but I have sisters that are teachers and they cannot believe the vocabulary she speaks, reads and writes. She is just now being discovered at school, always makes straight A's, but gets bored... Mini-Me in a cute little girl sort of way.

Sherri... Maybe do some of those on-line questionnaires from Web-MD and get evaluated. It could be you are so close to this that you cannot separate from it, Or you could be one of the girls that were over-looked because you cope so well. It took me a year and a half to figure out my sister is ADD. She new about mine, but never admitted she always felt she had it, until I we talked in great length one day. Guess what... My daughter is a lot like me, but a Clone of my younger sister. Sherri... You have connected to several of us, including me, and I think it couldn't hurt to look into this with a pro. You do have to take care of yourself :-) Sorry for over-stepping, but my personal discoveries have changed my life and I think for the better. Take care... 

YYZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

wow... same story here...

My parents, pediatrician and preschool teachers all thought I was some sort of genius due to how early I started talking, how clearly and how huge my vocabulary was.  But in grade school i got frustrated comments on report cards like, "doesn't try hard enough.... daydreams.... won't take responsibility for belongings.... loses class materials.... fails to turn in assignments... does the wrong assignment....etc."  They decided to do an IQ test because the school wanted to put me in the remedial program.  The test showed i was off the charts genius.  But... still 'couldn't be bothered' to do my schoolwork.  So I got A's in Math, Science and music and scraped along in everything else for the rest of my life.

my 4 year old began talking at 11 months.  Began small sentences at 13 months (for example, I weaned her at 12 months, and a month later she pulled open my shirt one day and said, "Boobies!  Aaaaall done!")  babysitters, friends, relatives and her pediatrician all think she's a genius.  INdeed it is entertaining when you ask a three year old how her morning at pre-school was and she says "well... it was a little disappointing:  I was hoping there would be a party or something with decorations."  She now is exhibiting ADHD behaviors like daydreaming, losing toys, getting bored in school....  the same old same old.... so frustrating to see what's coming. :-(

How old is your daughter?  Is she medicated?  if so, when do you start that?

Same story...

My youngest is 9 and was talking since just after birth, it seems :-) I have been very aware of the ADD symptoms, especially since I found out about mine. We are going to have her evaluated sometime soon, because I don't want her to develop the terrible coping skills that can follow as she gets older. I hope coaching skills can do the trick, but these do not correct brain chemistry :-( She is so smart and such a sweet girl and I don't want to see low self esteem develop because of being misunderstood. I am scared, but hopeful, as knowing is a big part of the battle.

YYZ

My score was 24

16 - 30

A score of 16 to 30 may suggest that the patient is severely affected by ADHD and, if treated, is not having a good response to treatment. The treatment may need more time to take effect to impact the symptoms, or the diagnosis of ADHD may need to be re-evaluated. If the patient is not being treated, a score in this range may demonstrate the need to start treatment with medication and/or counseling.

I am getting back into counseling, but I will be going alone. I will mention it to her, but I don't think I would consider treatment at this time. I have so many other things to deal with right now that it just isn't even on my radar.

Ha!

I knew it. Pot,Kettle, black....

Your comment is completely

Your comment is completely uncalled for and very rude. You have no idea what my life is like or who I am.

Your comment in itself goes against everything you hate about all of the "generalizers" here...you "I knew it".

So glad you're back. So glad so that you just helped me make the tough decision to leave. I had been struggling with it, so thanks SO much!! I have enough in my life right now, I won't come here and subject myself to your obvious bitterness and anger.

Melissa & George... thank you for the support this site has offered me through the last several months...I have decided that separation is my only option at this point. I need to take a break from ADHD for a while. I came here as a different person and apparently the hyperfocus has worn off and my husband has decided that counseling isn't an option, reading your book isn't an option, and I have had many emotions and feeling resurface that I need to take some time to work through and work on. I hope to come back sometime in the future with good news, but for now my family needs me.

Sorry, Sherri

Sherri,  don't let a brief comment by someone you've never met upset you so much!  I, for one, have been glad to read your posts.  I have very much appreciated your openness and honesty as you seek information and support.  I'm sorry you did not find it here.  I am looking too and I hope maybe I can change the tone of some of the discourse on this site.  EVERYONE who comes here needs support.  I know I do!  I can berate and harass MYSELF just fine without any help from others!  What I need is people who can tell me to keep trying, that it will get better, there is hope, don't give up!  Anyway, Sherri, I hope you will still come back from time to time to tell us how things are going.  I'll miss you!  It seems like your husband has a great supporter in you and I wish you the best for success in your marriage.  

And maybe Simora was just having a bad day or one of "those moments" that we all know so well and end up regretting later.  Try to forgive, but if you can't do that, at least don't let that comment defeat you!  Hang in there and come back soon.  

Weird how my thread about LIMITING COMPUTER TIME went off on such a tangent...hahah!  But I guess that is to be expected, huh? :)

wasn't having a bad day

I was responding to the irony of this type of statement

I think it would be very dangerous (and often is a death sentence to the marriage) to operate under the assumption that ADHD doesn't cause some very hurtful and frustrating behaviors.

I think that many here would not disagree that unrecognized ADHD is by far the worse culprit in this regard however it would have been better to say "...operate under the assumption that sometimes (or even often) ADHD ..." The author of this very post has proven that occasionally ADHD partners can be strong, persistent, strong , caring and generous and that the ADHD is not the death sentence, it is the manner in which it is dealt with by ADHD and NT alike which may or may not cause the demise of the relationship. It would be nice if NTs could stop venting about horrible ADHD partners and say to themselves what am I willing to do to facilitate my partners success in the changes they are prepared to attempt right now and if the ADHDs could stop beating themselves up so they could spend that energy instead in moving forward and say to their NT partners "this is what I am trying to work on right now, I could use your support in this way.... and if you can't support me, could you try to remain non-judgemental while I achieve both successes and failures in doing x"

It would really be better than all this blaming and self flagellation going on so often. There are a couple of the ADHD guys who try so hard yet regularly post such self-reproaching observations that it is heart breaking. Hint guys, the guilt is not entirely attractive, pity is a relationship killer. Its almost as difficult to feel attraction for somebody your feeling sorry for as somebody who is yelling at you.

IMO there is too much buy in to the DISORDER part of the ADHD label. Being ADHD is not easy but it is not necessarily the same as being defective. If I have said noting else for the past weeks it is that. So anyone who has seen that in my posts will understand that I would never intend that the recognition of another individual as having ADHD in common with me should be intended as an insult. Now I have been diagnosed for over 3 years and recognize that I have as many emotional recognition issues as any other severely adhd person out there; but rest assured that I am completely calm and lucid at this moment, as I was when I recognized a person who posted so frequently and during all hours of day and night, as sharing some of my adhd traits. I would also point out that I refrained from saying anything until the subject arose independent of my long held belief. Take that as you will. It is the right of all individuals to have opinions.

Eveyone is entitled to their

Eveyone is entitled to their opinion and to voice it- even if it is unpleasant, sarcastic or arrogant (within the scope of what the moderators will allow, of course). But I guess the reason I have been coming to this web site was to seek support from people who may be having similar experiences to mine while trying, at the same time, to gain perspective on what it might be like to have adhd from people who have it. I have these conversations at home too, but this web site has been incredibly supportive and informative to me during incredibly rough times. As it has been for so many- including, I hope both Simora and Sherri. My issue is that though any poster may feel well within in their rights to post their beliefs, I would hope that understanding that shutting another person down (intentionally or not) is not inherently productive to this site. It stinks in fact. We are here to learn - not to make anyone feel worse than they already do. And once you realize you have clearly hurt anothers feelings, it would be kinder to acknowledge that in a more respectful and kinder way. "Winning" by pushing out others opinions is not a win.

how many times have you charged me with being oversensative

I felt that that was tongue in cheek humour. Why would you consider being identified as ADHD an insult? Obviously our moderators did not feel it was meant as an insult or they would not have allowed it. Is it because you hurl so many anti ADHD slags around that the truth of discovering you're an MOT is devastating. You can say what you will but you can't blame me for  your own interpretations. BTW, that last little rant sounds a lot like me, welcome to our emotionally dysfunctional club. I think my sarcasm is much better though as I have had longer to embrace it unapologetically as part of my acerbic nature. Accept who/what you are, Hallowell always says to embrace the good parts of ADHD. Oh and BTW, the reason I suspected that you had ADHD was that you were on this site more frequently than Fuzzy.

for what it's worth

Sherri, If you check in before you leave: I took an "Am I Depressed" quiz and noticed that many of the tendencies are similar to outward symptoms of ADHD. In my marriage's worsening state, I noticed in myself lately that I am uncharacteristically forgetful, easily distracted and a bit less organized. I have grown somewhat paranoid about my DH is thinking because I now have anxiety about the homework assignments from our counselor. My quiz said I was very likely depressed. You may find this iinformation helpful when you see your counselor. All the best to you.

Be well Sherri. I will pray

Be well Sherri. I will pray for you and your family as I pray for me and my own. You have been a source of strength to me on more than one occasion, so I thank you. Hope to "talk" to you again.

Sherri

I will miss your posts and insight. I hope this separation can help you and when you do get to a better place, please come back again :-)

YYZ

Okay, come on...

Given your history with Sherry, this comment is, at least, gloating.  We didn't take it down because we don't consider having ADHD an insult.  Nonetheless, it does seem as if you were trying to hurt her feelings.  That may be the nature of the printed word...you might have been congratulating her in such a concise way that it didn't come across as such, but given your ability to write lengthy posts to describe your feelings, I remain skeptical.

Sherri may speculate that she has ADHD - and perhaps she does, or perhaps she does not.  One thing that we ALL should be wary of is "armchair" diagnoses - and that includes taking an online test to get a score.  All an online test can do is suggest that the topic may be worth pursuing in a real evaluation.  Sherri's full history will help a doctor understand whether or not she has ADHD, has something else, or is simply just way too busy.  The latter is often misinterpreted as ADHD at a casual glance - in fact so often so that Ned Hallowell wrote an entire book on the topic, called CrazyBusy:  Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap!  From what I know of Sherri's life, both from this site and from emails we have shared off line, I can guarantee you that for some time now she has most certainly been "Overstretched" and "About to Snap!"  Which is not to say she doesn't have ADHD.  Only that at this point no one - most importantly Sherri - knows.

It would be too bad if your comment had the effect of driving away a frequent and thoughtful contributor to the site after all of the conversations we've had about how important it is that ALL voices should be appreciated.  I have to believe that wasn't your intent, but perhaps it provides some insight into how easy it is to hurt people's feelings when coming from a different point of view and trying to express your thoughts/feelings in writing.

Some Advice For Us All?

(Sorry for another LONG post...brevity is so hard for me!)  

Thanks to Simora for trying to explain her post a little better, and also to Melissa for addressing this issue.  I am new to this site, and what I have observed so far is that many of us, ADHD and Non-ADHD are very SENSITIVE.  Don't you all think this is probably to be expected in a group of people who are all hurting and suffering in some way, and for people who tend to be somewhat defensive already?!  It follows naturally that we may all be a little "socially dysfunctional" and sometimes we come here just for a place to "vent."  It seems that many members here spend a lot of time evaluating other people's comments, whether the tone or the content of them, when we ought to be providing a safe place to let our hair down a little with people who should be able to understand!  All of us, ADHD or not, come here to find help, support and suggestions; a place to celebrate our success, and sometimes a place to grieve and seek healing.

The other thing I have noticed is that there seems to be an "us" and "them" mentality, especially among ADHDers (I am one, so I can say this!).  We seem to resent that the Non-ADHD spouses come here to vent, complain or discuss their experiences.  But the beautiful thing that makes this site and Melissa's book so different is that they are meant to provide help and support to BOTH partners!  We should not resent those "on the other side," just like we are trying not to resent our own spouses.  Part of what I am learning now is EMPATHY for my Non-ADHD spouse as I begin to really see and understand for the first time how hard it has been for HIM to live with my symptoms too!  So when people here "vent" or even "rant" occasionally, we can choose to file it away as a new way to understand the frustrations of our own partner and how we can possibly try to address, or at least RECOGNIZE a similar symptom in our own lives.  I am sure we all want to avoid inflicting pain on our own spouses however we can!  We can all LEARN from other people's frustrations and anger, just as much as the success stories shared here.

If someone hurts your feelings, try to respond gently (in case they didn't realize it!) and learn from that too, so that you don't inadvertently do the same thing to someone else.  Anything typed can be easily misconstrued; the comment might have been a sarcastic joke, a poke at themselves, a truth shared with sadness...but it is often impossible to know some of that without hearing the tone of voice and observing body language.  So, when someone says something you think is insensitive or mean or intended to hurt you personally, take a deep breath and consider the context and other possibilities before you react.  Remember that many people here are IMPULSIVE or have a hard time with social interactions in the first place FOR THESE VERY REASONS--we don't always FILTER what we say!  Therefore, sometimes it's best to just LET IT GO!  If you do feel the need to respond, try to do it gently with the intent of helping the other person realize that they've hurt your feelings.  They may not have meant to at all!  Give them a chance to explain before you get mad.  And if they DID intend to hurt you, then maybe they are in a place on their own journey where they themselves just need support and unconditional love, so try to forgive.  Either way, don't take it personally!  And for those times when any of us feels the need to "fix" someone else or make them see the "error of their ways"...don't you HATE it when people do that to YOU!?!  We must restrain ourselves!

I hope we can all relax and give each other some freedom to be open and even make some mistakes here.  We should all realize how much we NEED a safe place!  Remember that we are all at a different place along the road of our personal journeys.  Some days you may be farther along than someone else and feel very strong, and other times you may have a long way to go to catch up to the next person on the path and feel very defeated and weak.  Let's please provide ENCOURAGEMENT to everyone here in our struggles and in our victories!

Some members have ADHD spouses who are in denial, who refuse to get help, who have given up or are struggling significantly to stay on the path of effective treatment.  That must be so frustrating and difficult!  I'm sure it can even seem hopeless at times--and yet many are choosing to keep trying in their relationships and they come here, seeking help, or at the very least, a place where others will understand their pain.  THAT'S OKAY and it can be therapeutic for them just to be able to put a voice to their experience.  Some with ADHD have spouses who are not supportive, bitter, angry or have given up on them.  They are here, ALSO seeking help, or at the very least, a place where others will understand their pain.  Still others are either ADHD or Non-ADHD spouses who are in a marriage where both partners really ARE trying to make it work and follow a treatment plan.  And they are here, also seeking help and ideas or to celebrate on the good days; and to get support or maybe just a place to vent on the bad days.  Certainly we can all understand each position.  

Best wishes to EVERYONE here for finding help, ideas, a place to celebrate successes, or sometimes just a shoulder to cry on in the failures.  I pray that I can always provide SUPPORT to you all, wherever you are on your own journey.

Thank you

I think the part of reason for the us/them thing is that there is a cultural divide so to speak. You captured my sentiment in a way that I don't feel is possible for an NT without a lengthy explanation such as yours.

Melissa, thank you. I do have

Melissa, thank you. I do have a diagnosis...and it is not ADHD...I would like to think I am not spending $$ out of my pocket each week for nothing. I am going to try and find Dr. Hallowell's book...I had never heard of it...and I will tell my counselor too. I took the 'test' for the heck of it, and the only parts of it I even related to were having a hard time following through with things at home (not at work, I excel in any job I have ever had) and interupting during conversations...something I have been aware of for some time (actually my counselor pointed it out) and am working on it.

I love the site and I love helping people and most importantly I love the support I have gotten from most of the members. My marriage is in such a bad place right now that I just don't feel productive. I do NOT want to be one to offer nothing but 'negative' advice simply because I am at a low place in my marriage, that is why I was contemplating 'leaving' (reading, but not replying unless I had something nice/helpful to say). You know that I am 100% for "change yourself before you ask anyone else to change" but in lieu of recent events (which only you know about) I am struggling with a lot of old pains and anger resurfacing. I am human...but I will work through it...and hopefully find myself in a place where I feel I have something positive to add. If I do, I will. Had a great church service this morning...it put this kind of thing in perspective for me...feeling better about it.

Great!

Sherri--Sooo glad to hear from you again!  Hang in there.   We should ALL follow your advice of not replying or posting unless we have something positive to say!  I can imagine that MANY things (including the stress of living with an ADHD spouse!) can cause some symptoms that can look a lot like ADHD.  I know that my husband often feels overwhelmed and has that feeling that he's not doing "anything" in his life WELL.  He does NOT have ADHD.  Some of it is just work stress, but I suspect that a lot of it may be from having to pick up (or at least worry about) responsibilities that really should be mine.  Most people these days are busy enough that it is hard to keep up with our own stuff, much less to feel the weight of someone else's responsibilities!  I feel this way about our (ADHD) son's schoolwork.  I try to remind him about homework and assignments, and I ask him how things are going.  He will indicate that everything's fine, and then I find out from his grades that things are NOT fine!  Yes, he completed the assignment...but then he failed to turn it in, etc!  I said to my husband just the other day that I honestly can barely keep up with MY own responsibilities, and I just CAN'T keep up with his too.  Especially when I am checking with him, and then apparently I STILL need to check BEHIND him even when he says he has done his assignments (he is 13)!  I feel like giving up sometimes, but of course we can't do that as parents!  

So I figure if I feel overwhelmed with my child's responsibilities (which really are also mine!), I'm sure my husband feels even MORE overwhelmed by worrying about MY responsibilities (as well as our 3 childrens'!!).  He is carrying it all, which I know causes him a lot of stress...which can cause symptoms that look a lot like ADHD!  So you may be experiencing some of this too, OR it could be symptoms of whatever else you said you have been diagnosed with, OR maybe you really do have some ADHD?  But ONLY you with a PROFESSIONAL can figure all that out!

Glad to hear that going to church helped you feel better this morning.  I am a believer also, and I find great strength, hope, and grace from my faith.  Blessings to you!

computer time

My husband (ADHD) used to do this too.  He'd get on the computer and lose all track of time.  He finally talked to his therapist about it and she suggested that he set some sort of timer.  He did.  He set his computer to tell him the time every fifteen minutes . . .  loudly.  So when he hears, "It's 9 o'clock" rather loudly, it helps break him out of the focus he has on whatever he looking at on the computer.  I worried that he'd get used to the computer telling him the time and start tuning that out - but so far he hasn't (he's been doing this for over a year now).  Hope that helps.  

Clock Software?

How did he set his PC to announce the time?  Is that a special software or something?  I have started using my cell phone alarm a lot for reminders, so I can imagine that a verbal "reminder" system like what you described might help.  Of course, I still ignore my alarms plenty often, but I can't use the excuse that "I lost track of time" b/c the alarms remind me what time it is!

He uses a Mac

Apparently the ability of the computer to announce the times just comes with the Mac - no additional software needed.  Sorry I can't be of more help!  

Back to My Original Question--I Found Software and More!

I just ordered some software that is designed FOR THIS PURPOSE!  It is $24.  After it arrives and I set it up, I will let you know how I like it.  It is called the Time Timer (www.timetimer.com) and they actually have multiple time management products that seem like they would be GREAT for ADHD!  It claims to offer a "lock-down" feature that I am hoping will actually force me to STOP working on the computer.  I'm sure there is a password or something to easily re-open it, but I am hoping that forcing me to take action will help to break my computer hyper-focus long enough to shift my attention to "whatever's next."  Limiting my computer time is one of my biggest problem areas (as evidenced by my prolific posts on this site, even at 3 AM!!!).  I do not seem to be able to hit the brakes appropriately in this area, but of course, computers are a necessary part of our lives!  I am hoping this tool will help me.

I also want to try the physical timer too - it shows time as a visual portion of a red circle that gets smaller (like pieces of a pie) as time passes so you can see how much time is left in a visual way--it also offers an audible alarm at the end of the time segment.  (Go to "Products" and "How It Works" on the website to see the timer in action.)  The timer is $30, so I thought I would start with the software first and then maybe order the timer later.  I have used timers with some success (set for 15 mins and then change tasks), but this one adds a new dimension that sort of helps you "feel" the passage of time more accurately with the visual representation. Seems like these products would work great for kids too (ADD or non!).

They also have an app for an iPod or iPhone (although you must go to the iPod App Store to find that: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time-timer/id332520417).  There is also a WRISTWATCH that shows the same visual "countdown," as well as some other products.  Check it out!

www.timetimer.com

Unfortunately, the website is NOT easy to navigate, so keep trying!  To get to the "Online Store" with a full list of products and detailed descriptions:

1. Click on the "Order Online" shopping cart button beside ANY product

2. Choose "United States" as your location (or "International")

3. Click on a larger version of the "Order Online" shopping cart button

4. FINALLY you will arrive at the Online Store with ALL the products  

5. Click on pics of each product for descriptions and/or to order as desired

Whew!  Stay focused until you get to the right page, haha!  :)

Not that kind of lock-down

I emailed the Time Timer company to ask about the lock-down feature, but it is only a lock for changing the amount of time, not to lock the computer itself.  I guess it is for parents to use with their kids?  But maybe my suggestion will cause them to design an upgrade someday!

Guess I'll still have to find a way to control myself! :)

lock down

When I was a teen I LOVED to talk on the phone.  And it drove my parents nuts.  So, my dad put a timer on the phones in the bedrooms.  At 6:00 every night, they would turn off whether or not anyone was on them.  The phone in the kitchen would stay on (but what teen wants to talk to their friends in the kitchen!).  He somehow put a timer on the fuse box where the phones were (I'm really bad with fuses and stuff so have no idea how he did it).  When you talked about 'locking down' the computer it made me think of that event in my life (which is kind of funny now -- not so funny when I was 16  :-)   ).  I wonder if you could do that with a computer too . . . put it on some sort of timer to shut off at a certain time?  I'm not sure what that would do to the computer or if it could even be done.  Just a thought that ran through my head.  

Time Timer Software Update

I received the computer Time Timer.  I do love the concept, but this product needs some tweaking:

  • It doesn't have a way to make it "stay on top" of whatever you are working on. A visual timer doesn't really help if I can't SEE it! :)
  • It gives an alarm at the end of the time, but I wish it would actually freeze me out of the computer or at least make me enter a password or jump through some kind of hoops to get back in. It doesn't even make you turn the alarm off to make it stop--just sounds for about 2 seconds and then quits. Something to break my focus (or hyper-focus!) would be MUCH more helpful. It's too easy to just ignore the sound! I have the same problem when using my cell phone for reminder alarms--I ignore them!
  • I actually think the PHYSICAL timer might be a better investment than the software. Then it would be sitting in front of me AND I could use it for lots of other things besides computer time. Now I wish I had purchased that instead.

Our kids' desktop computer has "Parental Controls" on it which gives us the ability to set up Time Restrictions for each user. When they hit the end time, it locks them out. It does not actually log them off so that they will not lose any work that might not have been saved, but it kicks them out and will not accept a password to re-enter until I change the time limit. THIS would work much better for me! I need to hunt around and see if I can find that on my laptop so that I can put time limits on myself!

waaaaay late response

Hi there,

Don't know if you've found something else helpful in the meantime, but a forum member pointed me to this free Chrome app called StayFocusd.  I am on the computer all day long for work, so StayFocusd allows me to block particular websites, set a time limit for looking at them, and set hours to be on and off-duty.  Between 9-7, I have exactly 14 minutes to look at Facebook, Pinterest, & Buzzfeed - during weekdays.  So far Saturdays and Sundays are off days.  
StayFocusd also gives you popups at the 5-minute and 1-minute warning.  When you reach your time limit, all the blocked sites will redirect to a page saying, "Shouldn't you be working?"  When you try to increase your time limit or give yourself another off day, it gives you "are you sure?" popup boxes which are serious but not condescending.  

Thanks to ADHDMomof2 on these forums for the recommendation :)

thank you, Frankcesca

I hadn't heard of this.  I'm the non-ADHD spouse but I tend to get distracted when I'm working on the computer (like right now!).  I just downloaded the app and set up some sites to block.