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ADHD in Women

Hours wasted online - anyone relate?

I feel so terrible about myself over this issue.  I just get so sucked into the internet, and I put off starting/doing other tasks, and before I know it the day is over.  And I’ve accomplished nothing.  Ugh.  I am so frustrated right now.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

I think it’s starting a task that is hardest for me, and so to give myself something to do instead, while I am “not starting,” I waste time online.


The only thing I’ve found to work is complete abstinence when you have something you need to do.

Posted by BC on Jun 15, 2014 at 3:58am

I can so relate. I’m on social media sites way too often and I accomplish hardly anything around the house - then have the nerve to fight with my kids about not helping out with chores etc.

In some ways I find it to be such a stress reliever but then the guilt of wasting so much time makes me feel so awful.

Since I am able to get on these sites through my phone, I have been considering getting rid of my phone all together. Going back to the basics might be drastic but a great start.

Good luck to you!

Posted by SHJ125 on Jun 15, 2014 at 4:08am

Hey!  1st, Don’t worry. 2ndly, you can put a little timer next to you, egg timer maybe. This way you can give your self little bitty short breaks to do other stuff, than get back to online fun. It’s perfectly okay to be who you are. As long as no one was hurt or deprived while you were online. I spend a lot of time online too. You see, the internet and T.V. are behavior mod tools, so it’s not all your fault, lol. When you feel bad you perpetuate it, and it then becomes an illness due to your feelings. If being online is something you want to do, do it. Just don’t forget important stuff, That’s what that timer is for, otherwise do you! <3

Posted by Me, Niecy on Jun 15, 2014 at 4:50am

Oh, I forgot to add that I can start tasks but, I get bored and don’t want finish them. I know, right lol. My task avoidance has so much to do with motivation. I used to think it was a lack of energy. I think what works most for me is short bursts of tasks, so not to feel overwhelmed. No long projects. I know how you feel.

Posted by Me, Niecy on Jun 15, 2014 at 4:56am

Yes!!! I relate. This is part of our deficit in behavioral executive functioning! It’s our darn non-verbal working memory failing to be aware of time! (Dr. Russell Barkley research on EF).

I use a timer as well, but with a plan and purpose.

15 minute intervals. The tasks you need to do take much less time than you think. I set my timer for 15 minutes and do as much as I can. (Even the small stuff that just needs to get done but I avoid…like trimming my nails, going thru mail, unloading the dishwasher, changing the TP roll). ๐Ÿ˜ƒThen I set my timer for 15 minutes and do what I enjoy: read, scroll Pinterest, FB, text my buddies. I continue 15 minute rotations until I’m done or satisfied with my progress. I also play music I love when I have to do my 15 minutes of “work”.

Posted by Gothope! on Jun 15, 2014 at 7:14pm

I didn’t mention that I do this with big projects too. I work on it for 15 minutes. That’s it. I don’t let myself get bogged down in it. I take my break then come back and give my all to it again for 15 minutes. Sometimes the first few attempts are just organizing space to work or gathering the things I need. Doesn’t matter because it has to get done one way or the other, it’s still progress.

Posted by Gothope! on Jun 15, 2014 at 7:31pm

There is software that can make the internet only available to you certain hours of the day. You can set it, say, to allow internet 6-8 pm, or something like that. Or, you can set it to allow you a certain amount of time on the internet each 24 hour period. Once you’ve used that time, you cannot access the internet again until the following day.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jun 16, 2014 at 5:44pm

Hmm, I’m not sure if I like the software idea mentioned above. The idea of being locked out of my computer preventing quick access when I might need it is not appealing to me. However, if it has an adjustable short burst timer option, like an egg timer, it might be something worth looking into.

Posted by Me, Niecy on Jun 17, 2014 at 1:51am

I have a lot of trouble with this as well, along with the feeling of negativity related to the behavior of wasting to much time. (Mostly reading the current events to stay informed, the irony being I remember less than 50% of what I read!)

Despite Dr. Hallowell recommendation of limiting screen time I still struggle quite a bit with this same problem.

I do a combination of things others have mentioned. I use a digital timer to stay focused.
However BEFORE I even get on the internet, I write down the specific reasons I need to use the internet (the specific site name), with an estimated time each task will take, and set the timer accordingly.

And honestly, sometimes I set an additional timer every 10 minutes, in case I get unfocused, which creates a sense of urgency to complete the tasks I set out to do in the first place.

Related to the software for restricting use, there are some that allow you to select the sites you want to restrict, so not all internet sites are inaccessible.

There is the Add-on “Leechblock” for Mozilla Firefox, and “Stayfocused” for Chrome. (Sorry I don’t use Internet Explorer, but you surely could google to find a similar ‘software’.) There are several sources that explain the benefits, set-up, etc. for these.

The simplest solution I have found it this: . This is a very basic webpage that allows you to put in the number of minutes and a specific email address, then after the allotted time, a simple pop up appear telling you that “times up!”

Hope this helps and hang in there.

Posted by JHC922 on Jun 17, 2014 at 5:31am

When I get pressed for time (like the final paper I should be writing ><) I will make a post to my social media letting my friends & family know that I will be mostly unreachable. I have my fiance as a point of contact in case of emergencies.

I also use Time Timer for when I need to set a block of time to get something accomplished. It has a visual representation of time so I can kind of glance at it and see that I’m almost done with my “focus period” or that I’ve gotten far in a little bit of time.

I have another app that I can set up a break and study cycle on called 30/30 for the iPhone that helped make sure I didn’t get over focused and forget to do things like take breaks or move around.

BTW, don’t feel terrible. You’ve got this =)

Posted by Angel01hy on Jun 18, 2014 at 4:12am

I too suggest Time Timer with the pop up visual representation of time on an analogue display (not digital).  I read somewhere long ago (probably on the Time Timer website?) about how much more effective analogue clocks are for ADHD and more accurately guaging the passage of time.  I’m a firm believer!  (And Time Timer definitely helped my kids out…need to get back to organizing those boxes of miscellaneous stuff in our formal dining room…I’m sure that our portable free-standing Time Timer is in there somewhere…might have come in handy for my kids this past year…) wink

Posted by BC on Jun 20, 2014 at 2:06am

Ari Tuckman talks about the benefits of using analog clocks in his recent webinar on Time Blindness. I found that suggestion very interesting. He offers many other strategies for time management when you have ADHD as well. You can listen to the archive here:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jun 20, 2014 at 7:02pm

I totally struggle with this… all the time.  Two things I am trying right now.  Not getting on internet / social media before a specific time (before 12 right now). Then I use the morning hours to accomplish some of my big goals - important things not urgent things.  I use timetimer for 50 min focus periods, followed by 10 min breaks.  The breaks are not for screen time.  I make myself get up, go to the washroom, get more water and think about what whether I am actually on task.  I schedule important emails and online research as tasks and then make sure I pick specific times in the day for free / fun online time (a reward for hard work).  Some days are better than others, some weeks are better than others.  I try to manage energy and focus rather than specific minutes by looking at chunks of time and types of tasks.

Posted by LeslieC on Jun 23, 2014 at 5:06pm

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