Transition Trouble Sweepstakes: Win a Time Timer!
Enter to win one of five Time Timer Original 3” — an essential tool for managing time and easing transitions — by answering these questions below: What are your (or your child's) bumpiest transitions? What is your secret to smoothing them out?
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129 Comments: Transition Trouble Sweepstakes: Win a Time Timer!
My sons toughest transition is stopping what he is doing to get ready to and leave the house. Also bedtime is a hard transition because his brain us constantly going.
For me it’s transitioning first thing in the morning, getting moving after wake up. If I get pulled into the phone, I lose all track of time (especially because I have room darkening curtains) and if I am then running late, it makes the entire house late. I have found that I have to set an app up to block use of my phone until a specific time immediately upon waking. I’ve tried everything else, gradual brightening clocks, the works. The only thing that helps is to take away the opportunity to get sucked in.
For my son it’s transition to bed. Leaving his wind down activity is so hard and sleep is difficult so transitioning causes anxiety. We have found that allowing him to transition in his room helps set the environment and makes it a little easier for him.
By the time my daughterreturned home from school, she was a tightly wound spring, ready to pop. I’d stand out of her way and let her run up and down the hall for 20-30 minutes. By the time she was physically exhausted, she would become emotionally and mentally calmer. At least for a while. I think it helped us both.
Always always was dinner time. When I was pregnant it was my most active time of the day, so that time of day always seems the most stressful for everyone.
This timer solution really works!
Some of the hardest transitions for me are in between days with schedules and days without. As a recently diagnosed college student, I honestly haven’t fully figured out how to “hack” my ADHD to make transitions like those, or other much smaller ones, go more smoothly. Going from routine throughout the week to no routine on the weekends throws my life into a whirl at exactly the moment I need to be steady so I can finish the 9 page paper due on Monday. Some smaller transitions would simply be trying to move on from talking to people to doing work. I love engaging in conversation so much more than I love solving mathematical equations, so it can be incredibly difficult to switch tracks. Sometimes, even once I do finally pull myself away from that one last hallway conversation, it is still difficult to start working because it is, inevitably, so much more boring and therefore gives me much less dopamine which my brain doesn’t exactly love. College life presents so many unique challenges with this because my home, work, and student life are all in the same place at the same time, and trying to fit these pieces of my life into separate boxes, a coping technique I used to be able to use, just doesn’t work anymore! My only overrides are other people and sometimes visual timers/set periods of time with rewards at the end. Often the two are combined, and I’ll have a friend sit near me and not let me get distracted (at least physically, mentally… oh well) until that timer is up. Having someone with me motivates me a little more to get things done in the 20-40 minute time slots I make up for doing my work. But now, this comment is long and rambling, as such are most of my thoughts, but hopefully it all makes sense. 🙂
My son’s bumpiest transition is when he needs to stop playing video games. My secret to smoothing this out begins with a discussion around setting limits ahead of time. The reason for the limits are explained to him by me and his father: setting his brain up for success by better balancing where he focuses his attention. For example in addition to video games he can read, rest, exercise, socialize, do his part to help with chores, eat/drink, go to the bathroom, self care grooming, play a game or learn a new skill. (Yes he even forgets to go pee).
The biggest issue I’ve noticed is that he seems not to understand how long he’s been playing video games. If he’s been hyper focused playing for four hours straight he will say “I just got on 30 minutes ago!”. To help him I have been using our time timer to ‘show’ him how much time is passing.
Eventually when it’s time for him to get off to do something else, he usually refuses (can we say hyper focused?!). I remind him that he needs to get off to do other things and then we negotiate how much longer until he will get off the computer. We might settle the negotiation for ten more minutes, then I set the timer (always with the sound on). And voila, he usually gets off a few seconds after the timer sounds. (Phewf finally!)
The pandemic has pushed everyone to using electronics more. I find that because it’s so easy to attend webinars, meetings, and classes online, my schedule is fuller than before. It makes our family stay indoors more. I’m making a point of exercising and getting our family outside for walks and I’m doing yoga online. I love learning and researching so that ends up being my rabbit hole. Pre-COVID, I was already using the timer on my phone, but I use it even more. Also, I used to keep my calendar, etc, on paper. I think going back to that will work better for my family. Google calendar doesn’t work well for us. My child doesn’t check it enough and each person’s calendar doesn’t always show up for other family members. Out of sight, out of mind. Definitely going to look into getting some visual and concrete tools.
Transitioning from “screen time” to work time is absolutely killing me; especially since work is mostly done on my computer and clicking away to anything else is soo easy.
I struggle to transition from showering or any other personal hygeine task. If I’m not already running late, I usually find myself walking around with a towels on my head or incessently plucking chin hairs.
A difficult transition is from working online to relaxing. Getting away from my gadgets…. and so much more.
My 6 year old struggles so much with transitioning to anything that is not what she wants to do at that moment. I give her reminders about how much time she has left and even set the timer on our echo/Alexa.
For us the toughest transition is from video/video game time to bedtime/dinner time. My son (13) does well with most other transitions, but the time when he needs to begin shutting down the videos or games and transition to dinner time or getting ready for bed are the hardest part of our day. He has been known to go into a full on meltdown with name calling, item throwing, screaming, defiance, and sobbing. We have been working on several different methods to improve this transition. Most recently we have been discussing a specific amount of time he can be on videos/games, setting a timer to go off 10 minutes and 5 minutes prior to his time to shut down along with verbal alerts to prep him. Then at time to shut down my husband or I will go to him and sit with him while he finishes what he is doing and shuts down. We have also started giving him jobs to do as part of dinner. This seems to help him as well. So far this transition has been going SO much better!
For me once I get focused on researching something – be it an idea to decorate or the best light bulb – I lose track of time and have a hard time transitioning to scheduled tasks like dinner and bedtime. I agree with others that setting a time limit or timer is helpful!
Oof. Transitions are super hard for me in general but in terms of bumpiest I would say that it’s actually the mundane everyday tasks that really get me (getting out of bed in the morning to get the day started, hopping in/out of the shower, getting off my phone after checking emails, etc). For getting out of bed in the morning I’ve started setting my alarm a little earlier and taking my meds right away — then I just kind of lay in bed in a sleepy haze until I feel that moment when the medication kicks in and use that as momentum to propel myself out of bed. For other tasks in general I’ve found that setting a time limit with really helps (I add an extra 5-to-10 minute warning alarm before the real one so I have some time to wrap things up); otherwise I almost always get distracted by something small and time blindness has me scooping the litter box for over an hour…
My hardest transition is switching from an active task that is rewarding right now by making me feel that I get things done, like tidying the kitchen, to intellectual work like writing an essay for my studies. It is awful. Having a To do list helps, sometimes.
My hardest transition is when I’ve gotten “into” (gotten VERRRY wrapped up in) something I love or am passionate about, and then have to stop and do something boring (so basically, “adulting”).
To combat this, I made the personal rule of “we HAVE TO do the thing we DONT want to do before we can do the things we WANT to do!” I’ve taught my kids & partner that this is what I want to try my best at to live by, & when I start to steer away from it, THEY will usually recognize what I’m doing & repeat it back to ME. somehow, hearing it kicks in my “rule follower mode” & makes me think, “oh, right. Okay, let’s do that so I can get back to this” (Even if in my head I’m thinking about doing whatever the boring thing is AS QUICKLY as possible) it’s getting done with the critical things that I NEED to do, and also doing what I WANT to do. Just keeps them in a better order for me.
One of my bumpiest transitions is ending the day; the sticker shock of how little I accomplished always hits me. If I could just work for 30 more minutes, or stay up one more hour… I could get everything back on track! I’d love to share my secret for that one, but I’ve got nothing. I do have a spectacular system for timing my showers though! I start my Pandora station when I enter the bathroom. I have until the end of the first song to get my hair wet, I better be mostly showered by the end of the second song, and then the third song is my free rein to stare into space, have imaginary debates, or plan world domination. I started that habit 2 decades before my diagnosis, and it is a live-saver.
I find that transitions are most difficult when there are tasks that have overlapping objectives or that require jumping back and forth between tasks. Breaking it down into subtasks is helpful and trying to stick to one subtask at a time whenever possible makes a big difference.
I find that transitions between subtasks are most challenging, especially when they are interrelated subtasks and there is some overlap in them. I try to break my tasks down into smaller pieces and then do one thing at a time as I go through each subtask that I have identified.
Mornings are the toughest: getting from bed to out the door can be filled with so many little transitions! My little is 8 years old and we use the microwave timer to countdown to ‘leave for school’ time or sometimes to chunk time down even further: 3 minutes for teeth, 2 minutes to pick your bag, etc.
I am an adult recently diagnosed with ADHD and discovering that I struggle with transition has been such a window of understanding why I struggle so much with moving through activities. I can relate sooo much with all of the comments here! I especially struggle with leaving the house and getting to work on time. I truly believe that “time blindness” is part of my ADHD. I often hyper focus on things have nothing to do with my responsibilities and I find if I don’t break down tasks to their smallest parts those things get lost in the shuffle of bumping from moment to moment in the day. Planning to review my calendars has to be built into my day and that acts as an anchor for my wayward mind. I also craft a large, visible calendar for the wall by the front door as an extra reminder.
Sometimes when I have to tear myself away from a rabbit hole of curiosity in order to something more “grownup” (like pay bills, make calls, go to work!) I can get grumpy and defiant and my 8 year self tries to throw a fit. Being kind to myself and giving myself lots of wiggle room within a moderately structured day seems to lend to better days with more successes. It keeps my ADHD shame gremlins at bay and reminds me that I am capable and that my uniqueness is a gift, not a hurdle or burden.
I do find that setting a timer for tasks very helpful too and coupling that with a visual reminder would likely work even better. Thanks to everyone who shared your struggles and successes, I always feel such relief to know I am not alone!
My toughest transition each day is to workout because it involves so many steps, including changing my outfit and locating all the gear & clothes I need to start.
I feel like my whole life is a bumpy transition! 😉 But definitely transitions to and from meetings, especially virtual meetings. I try to calendar block my days as much as possible to have calls /meetings lumped together, but that’s not always doable. It is SO HARD for me to take my brain from a task to a meeting then back to a task or deep work.
I find that getting up and jumping around or just walking a few laps around the living room helps. Physically standing and moving a little is like a signal that it’s time to transition and gets me “ready” for what’s next.
Transitioning from my lunch break online “free time” back to work. I’ve found it helpful to walk to get a cup of coffee, put on focus music in my noise cancelling headphones, and start my toggl tracker. If I can get over that hump to just start working, I usually get into my task for an hour or so.
My bumpiest transitions include getting away from Electronics even though that’s where I need to do a lot of my work. Social media and videos are the most terrible distraction. To make myself get away I set alarms for breaks so that I can get up and move around then get back at the task at hand instead of Surfing my time away.
The time right after school is a difficult transition time for my ADHD kid. He likes to be left alone for awhile to spend time outside or play with friends before he’s ready to talk about his day and move on to new activities.
Transitions to daycare or going to the store from one activity to the next are hard for my 4 year old. I try to give him 15, 10, then 5 min warnings and that can help but a timer would be great for using for our transitions to eliminate or decrease his emotional meltdowns when it’s time to leave, eat dinner, put away toys for bathtime, etc.
My hardest transitions are when my hyperfocus has kicked in, but I have a work meeting or an urgent task come up. Transitioning from my hyperfocus project (usually a big data analysis project) to something urgent (usually human-centric) makes it really hard. I also have to limit my hyperfocus sessions or I get burnt out. I will work from 9-3pm straight, neglecting emails, maybe miss a meeting (oops) and then I don’t want to finish up my workday (which often has late in the day meetings). I really need to work on limitinig my hyperfocus! This timer seems awesome. 🙂
Our most difficult transitions are related to being prepared for the day and night. I was forever reminding my children that they needed to do the next step in their EVERY DAY at the same expected time routine. Finally I decided to write them down in permanent texta (with times to be completed by beside each one) in a whiteboard and I gave them magnets to physically move to the next steps. It has worked a treat. We have a clock next to the board for them to check that they are on track. All I have to say is”have you moved your magnet? Are you ready?” And our mornings and afternoons have improved and I am no longer sounding like a broken record . My girls even have free time at the end when all steps are completed. This is the best reward for all of us, we are a happier family:)
I’m an artist/writer and I set my own schedule. I usually work for a while in the afternoon and for a while in the evening. If I didn’t have an interesting afternoon session, it’s difficult for me to transition from dinner into my evening work session. I’m not very consistent in remembering this trick, but what gets me to stop procrastinating and get to work is to set a timer for 5-15 minutes and use it to begin focusing. It also helps to have a pep talk. I tell myself, “I am not a procrastinator. I have a habit of procrastinating. Habits can be changed.” Sometimes it helps to put on some meditative music to structure my thoughts and get interested. Sometimes, I’ll watch a ted talk or read some of a self-help book to give me a boost. The timer is the most sure-fire way though, as long as I’m in an ok mood.
My son takes a very long time to fall asleep and hates being left alone in his bed. I find the best way to transition out of his room is to coax the cat onto his bed for company. When she isn’t around, I set a timer and check on him at intervals, initially 3 mins, then 5 mins, then 10 mins, 15 etc until he is a asleep. Exhausting but better than lying with him for an hour! Audio books failed because they proved too engaging…
My biggest struggle is when I have to transition to working on a task that I know will take a LONG time if done all at once. I will put it off and off and off, bc I “don’t have time for it right now.” So far I’ve been able to smooth that out a little by breaking the large tasks into smaller pieces, with limited success.
Transition from work to play is easy, but the opposite is hard. I am now a working professional which tends to take a toll on my performance. I can start a day feeling “good as hell”, but as soon as I take that hour-long lunch break (which normally includes watching something on tv on my bed), I find it hard to leave my bed. I have found that if I can stay away from my bed, I can save a lot of time!! my therapist suggested putting the mattress up against the wall when starting your day
Transitioning difficulties… Definitely!! I am 43 and terminally single and childless, lol!! I was diagnosed as having ADHD at 15 years old but my Mom “noticed something different” about me as early as age 4. I was recently also diagnosed as Autistic and having “invisible” hearing loss. Hopefully, I will receive my trial hearing aids this week!! Wait, right… We were talking about “transitioning” from one task to another!! Yikes!! Well, to be honest I have a hard time “getting out the door”. I need to remember what items I need to complete the task at hand. Which usually involves getting ready for doctor’s appointments during the week, as well as grocery shopping and running errands. So, I need my I.d. card, insurance card, and wallet. I need to pack my evening meds into my travel meds case, grab my case that has clear benadryl in case of allergic reactions to foods, mini first aid kit, chewing gum (helps me focus), mini bag that contains tissues, a gluten free snack bar, plastic utensils. My day planner, journal/to do list/shopping list, a bottle or 2 of water, my cell phone, portable charger and backpack. I snap a picture of my new dry erase board, which has a to buy list and a to do list… And a bag that contains visual aids to remind me what I have to do!!I do find that using the techniques from FlyLady Marla Cilley is helping me become better organized!! Using timers also helps.
I could literally copy a number of people’s responses here. I struggle with time management: I do not stick to tasks that my brain finds uninteresting. I can always find another shiny thing to do, like research online for things I will not end up buying, or watching an episode of some French show I like that I’ve recorded on Canadian TV. I can get hyperfocused on something fun and then leave no time for the things I should be doing. On a personal note, my bumpiest transition is moving from the world inside my head to the outside world when my husband talks to me. He feels so often unheard and hurt from that and it is a severe strain on our relationship.
My son’s bumpiest transition is from activities that are creatively stimulating to activities that are more mundane. Example is from a class assignment that allows him to draw and transition to one where he is doing a plain worksheet or expected to sit still and listen; or from playing with LEGOs to helping out his laundry away. My daughter’s bumpiest transitions come when there is a disruption in her usual schedule/routine- school bell schedule, nightly routine, morning routine, etc. My bumpiest transitions are very similar to my son’s (minus school work and lego related lol)- I need to feel like all activities are exciting or stimulating to me or it’s “bumpy”- I don’t throw a fit but my motivation is significantly decreases and I feel like I’m just bummed lol
In order to combat our issues, I try to make things seem more exciting or stimulating for my son and I. Usually for him I will tell him the faster (and well done) he can get it completed, the faster he can go back to doing the “fun” thing. It usually works with minimal moaning or fit throwing. I also try to make his mundane work a little more fun by theming it (were secret agents trying to figure out the secret code; his room is going to fill with hot lava and the only way to protect his clothes is to put them in his dresser, etc). For my daughter (who is a teen), we’ve taught her meditation and coping skills. She can’t meditate long without thinking of the day ahead or her stresses (she has anxiety too) but she is able to breathe and accept that things change due to unforeseen circumstances no matter how much you plan- which will be great for her future.
What are your (or your child’s) bumpiest transitions? What is your secret to smoothing them out?
My son constantly forgot to take his anxiety medicine in the morning. His father would remember to remind him but I have have AdD Inattentive so I would always forget. He has a daily minder box that his dad fills every week but still he’d forget to take the pill in the morning. Often days would go by without taking it. Finally after months of this I said to his dad: Why doesn’t he take it with his night pill? (a prescription sleeping pill that he never forgets or he stays awake all night) We checked with the pharmacist and doctor and there was no issue with changing the time of day. Now we don’t have to remind him and his anxiety is finally balanced at all times. Sometimes it takes a small change to make a big difference.
We’re a family with 3 boys (9, 7, and 4). Leaving the house and coming home are both hard for our family. We made a checklist with pictures of what we need to do to leave the house and that had helped a lot with getting out the door on time with the things we need to have with us.
I have another picture checklist in the car that shows what we need to bring inside the house when we return and where each item should go (back pack, water bottle, shoes, etc). I’ll tell the kids the take out the last and we talk through what has to happen when we get in the door. Frequently, I’ll give them each a 10 minute quiet time either in the car or immediately when we get home because it can be a little off the wall with activity, questions, sibling squabbles right when we walk in the door.
These picture lists even help me remember what needs to happen and not have to turn back to the house repeatedly for the water bottle or that library book. The one we keep in the car helps everyone to be able to find their shoes the next day.
Transitioning from work to home is difficult, especially while in the middle (hopefully end) of menopause! I try to write everything down so that I can remember what to do, then lose the list. I’m exhausted.
The most difficult transitions for children are going from watching a television show to going homework or finishing the game in the park to going home. I try to soften them by putting a timer on the TV or setting a cell phone alarm in the park. Auditory transitions are the most complex. Thanks!
Bumpiest would be in crowds, smooth would be at home, where she feels more secure.
My son struggles with talking. If he has something he wants to share he has to share it right then and there even if it’s not an appropriate time or if someone else is already talking. If someone else is talking we tell him he’s next. If he’s been talking and telling sorry after story we then have to give him a time limit on how much longer he can talk. Ok 1 more minute and then you need to eat your dinner. This really is his biggest hurdle. If he’s talking he can not do one other thing so we are really working on these transitions. I really think anytime he has to stop something he enjoys to something he doesn’t we struggle.it’s a constant fight in our home and we continue to try different methods. I think this clock would help a ton for him to visually see exactly how much time he has before the transition occurs.
The toughest transition for my ADHDer is to come from outside play inside. For him the only thing that really works is routine. He knows which days he has more time to play outside and which days he has activities and must come inside. Straying from routine is not helpful. I give him lots of warnings when his time is ending. If there is a change in schedule we discuss it the night before (if possible) and again in the morning to alleviate stress for him.
Ok I’m newly diagnosed and I suffer from transitions: hyperfocus, taking healthy breaks, acceptable and responsible or important things in priority. If I had this timer I could with some task lists handle more and be a better employee wife mom and more! I struggle trying to accomplish things on a timely basis but if I used this I could set specific times to do them and still be able to accomplish more! I lose hours doing nothing way too often or get so wrapped up in figuring out something I end up in a rabbit whole. It’s beyond frustrating.
My biggest transition problems happen in the evening. Almost anything to trying to relax is difficult for me, but the evening time is the worst.
My nephew is newly diagnosed, and I recently saw how difficult his transitions are in general. He can’t go easily from his “fun” activity to dinner, for example. He can’t go from eating or playing to putting his shoes and coat on, it has made me more aware of my transition struggles, as well. I think I might look into getting us both timers when I have some extra money! 🙂
I struggle to get started doing tasks, transitioning from a state of doing nothing to doing something. The best trick I’ve got is writing out a to do list, that and playing my head-banging bops songs to sing and move along to while I work. (which is usually helpful but can sometimes turn into a distraction)
For my 6 year old son the hardest transition for me currently is getting off his tablet at night before bed. My current tricks to make it smoother are place a vibrating smart watch with a timer on it and turning it in to tickle time when its time to transition
Transitioning to almost everything is hard for me. I even have trouble transitioning to take a bathroom break! Daily! I’m still learning what works. With the pomodoro method, the breaks help me to come up for air just a bit. It’s not the perfect system for me, and often I feel like I’m just getting into the groove of something when the timer bell rings. But the frequent breaks help when I catch them.
I am a 24 years old student and actually I dont seem to handle transitions in any way. I just cannot switch from something I am loving to a boring thing. I have very serious problems at school because of that 🙁
The hardest transition for my son is from play time to nap time. It works best when we give him a warning countdown, and then make a game out of the movement to get to his room for nap.