March Sweepstakes: Win a Time Timer!

Enter to win a Time Timer visual clock — one of our readers’ favorite tools for managing mornings, homework, screen time, work tasks, and more — by answering this question below: What is the most challenging time of day in your household — and why is it so rough?

ADHD is 24-7

For some, mornings are a chaotic blur of snoozed alarms, slapped-together breakfasts, tangled hair, and painful howls of “We’re late! We’re late!” For others, the afternoon witching hour — when medication has worn off and homework looms over the day’s stresses — is absolute torture. And still others lament their inability to turn off their brains and get to sleep on time each night. In short, ADHD is a 24-7 condition that impacts people in different ways, at different times of day (and night).

How Time Timer Helps

At all times of day, people with ADHD often need ‘external cues’ to help them stay on task, prioritize projects, and set limits. For this, a favorite tool among ADDitude readers is the Time Timer — the visual timer that has helped people manage time for more than 20 years. Designed to help manage the age-old question, “How much longer?” the Time Timer reinforces the concept of elapsed time and helps many families manage mornings, homework, screen time, and more.

Enter to Win a Time Timer

To win one Time Timer (a $39.45 value each), use the Comments section below to tell us: What is the most challenging time of day in your household — and why is it so rough?


Sunday, March 31, 2019, at 11:59 pm EST.


Only Comments posted with a valid email address will be considered valid entries. One entry per household per day. The editors of ADDitude will select two winners at random and notify them via email on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.
(Official rules)

352 Comments & Reviews

    1. Every time of day is just hard. I often heve no concept of time. 5 minutes suddenly becomes 30 minutes later and 30 suddenly beceme 2 hours later. By late afternoon it often feels as if the day is so long a d I just want to go back to.bed to refresh and recharge, but the evening is still another 4 hours away. When night comes, I’m as busy as a bee and I can’t shut my brain off.

  1. “What is the most challenging time of day in your household — and why is it so rough?”

    Mornings are the most challenging for me, because It takes me literally hours to fully wake up. I feel like I’m practically brain dead for 2 – 3 hours after I get out of bed.

  2. The worst time of day for me is when there is 30 minutes left in the workday (looking at my to do list for the rest of the day and evening). I feel I need to instantly start everything at once because of course while I cook the clothes can wash. After cooking I can switch the clothes over (if I remember) because on the way to go do this I notice my pup pup needs dinner. Oh and my dinner needs attention. By this point I’m getting frustrated because I still need to feed hubby and I, oh crap better put our work clothes in the dryer. Downstairs in laundry room and realized that I never shut the lid on the washer…oh and dinner… slam door and washer is on spin cycle. So that can be switched to dry after dinner. Dinner finally. Clean up dinner, clean kitchen, want to relax but can’t I still have to go take a shower. Shower then go back into the living room to sit before bed and….. nope. I still have to actually start the dishwasher, clean the counters off because I sprayed them but didn’t wipe them down all the way just halfway. And finally I can go get the clothes into the dryer.
    And … now it’s bedtime, hope I can get to sleep. Toss and turn and have to go make sleepy time tea and take my sleep pill.
    Oops I forgot to put the clothes in the dryer.

  3. The most difficult time is when I get home from work until bedtime, which includes homework and dinner. My middle school daughter can’t manage her homework time by herself or help much with dinner prep. So it’s chaos until homework is done or I give up, whichever comes first.

  4. Mornings…my daughter has to get up at 5:30 to get out the door at 6:40 for school. With no medication yet in her system, it is nearly impossible for her to wake up and keep moving to get done on time.

  5. The most challenging time of day in my household is the morning. Thankfully, everyone else doesn’t have a difficult time waking up, getting ready, and being on time. I’m the only one hitting the snooze button, dozing off,and running the risk of making everyone else late. My only job in the morning is to take the kids to school and I’m usually the one holding up the show. My medication takes awhile to work so I am trying to take it as soon as I wake up, which is challenging on mornings when I stayed up too late due to racing thoughts and a lack of exercise. On weekend mornings, I take too long to get ready because time seems to speed up when I’m in the bathroom. What feels like a five minute shower is actually 15 minutes. What feels like 5 minutes of getting dressed and putting makeup on is actually another 15 minutes! My children.are well aware of how ADHD impacts their lives. They usually keep me on task by telling me what time it is and we need to leave in 5 minutes so we aren’t late. We all know my definition of five minutes isn’t really five minutes though! My son is in the habit of counting down the time! A timer like this one is something I’ve wanted for a long time, but I couldn’t remember what it was called and couldn’t come up with a keyword search to find it online anywhere. The thing that makes mornings so difficult for me is that my sense of time is distorted. I chalk it up to my culture and genetics. My ancestors were bison hunters and were present in the moment. We all joke about something called “Indian Time” which is arriving anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours late.

  6. Mornings are definitely most difficult. It is extremely hard for my son to get organized in the mornings. This is from a combination of ADD and autism. We are looking for any help we can give to him.

  7. After school homework and morning is our most difficult time. I would also add having to be anywhere on time is rough for us. My son and I are both diagnosed ADHD.

  8. Mornings are very difficult although in theory it’s the same routine every day so it shouldn’t be. Why is it such a struggle?! Time is a mysterious concept in our home…

  9. Homework time is the hardest time. That after school time / dinner time — where everyone is tired and my child continues to think homework is unimportant. Or, she tells me it is all done (which is not true…or is true and it gets lost before school the next day). Going to bed is the easy time. But, getting there makes me happy for a few hours of me time before I go to bed myself.

  10. Getting ready in the morning is hardest at my house. My son gets up an hour to an hour and a half before we have to leave for school. We still somehow always end up rushing at the last minute to make sure he has finished breakfast and is dressed to go.

  11. Early evening is the hardest time in our family. Fighting to do homework, get ready for bed, eat dinner together. I think it’s the hardest because my son’s medication wares off and he has a hard time staying on task.

  12. The most difficult time of day for our family, is after lunchtime between 1-3pm. We have no more nappers in the family, so trying to get the kids to take quiet time, go outside and play or work on schoolwork but still keep the peace with each other is challenging.

  13. With 2 ADHD kids and on ADHD husband, it’s a toss-up between mornings and dinner time. I hate mornings, so I am not at my best, and my 5 year old has to be constantly reminded to stay on task. Most days we’re racing frantically out the door as the bus waits at the end of the driveway. Starting the day off with frustration and stress isn’t good for either of us. Luckily, my husband takes the teenager to catch the high school bus earlier in the morning, so all 4 of us aren’t in each other’s way. Evenings are frustrating because I tend to feel like I’m the only one trying to get things done, and there’s never enough time between getting home from work and school before it’s time to get the youngest into bed. By the time she’s asleep, I want to be too!

  14. School mornings are the worst in our house! I’m usually still exhausted from not sleeping well so my crankiness and the chaos is just a recipe for disaster.

  15. Mornings!!! I have to get my twin ADHD kids up at 6am to start getting them ready for school. I’m trying to teach them to be more independent in getting themselves ready so I can focus on lunch and breakfast prep without having to stand over them or physically get them dressed myself. I have tried using extra alarms and bell timers but with no resolution. I have often wanted this exact type of timer so they can SEE time counting down. This would put more focus on what time they have left to accomplish those basic morning tasks. PLEASE pick me.

  16. Mornings! I was (finally) recently diagnosed with ADHD, my teen son is ASD and ADHD, and my youngest son has ADHD as well. Regardless of how many lists I make, mornings are always such a frantic mess.

  17. Mornings are the most challenging in our household. 2 ADHD members in a 3 person family always keeps things interesting, but when you throw in the other family member hates mornings it equals a losing situation every time. We try checklist, but struggle with maintaining them. So much frustration trying to get out the door each mornin.

  18. My most difficult time of day is on a weekend 11 a.m./12:00 p.m. when my husband is busy doing chores and I just want to lay around and do nothing. This timer would help me complete tasks throughout my day!

    My email is: [email protected]

  19. Mornings! This morning it took my daughter 30 minutes to put on her lotion and clothes!!! The final push to get out the door always ends up a chaotic frenzy!

  20. The time just before dinner is our most challenging time of day. As we reflect on what was accomplished during the day, we sometimes are either disappointed and rush to get more done or we simply adjust the to do list for the next day.

  21. After school/evenings are the hardest for us. My son has a hard time focusing after a day of trying his best to stay on task in class so finding a balance between homework, chores, extracurriculars, and fun is not easy.

  22. I would love to win one for my 32yo ASD, ADHD son! He doesn’t have any particular time of the day that’s really difficult for him, just every time he needs to leave his apartment! One of his best friends has put him on notice, late, twenty four times too many! Not just once!!! We are now syncing when he has to meet up, so that I (ADHD) can prompt him to put numerous alarms on his phone, warning him it’s getting closer to time to leave. Luckily his younger brother, 21yo, ASD, ADHD, doesn’t have this intense problem. Thank you for the chance to help my son live a meaningful, independent life!

  23. Most definitely school mornings. I feel like I’ve just run a marathon after completing the school run. It’s exhausting, chaotic and never gets any easier for me (ADHD) or my ASD/ADHD child.

  24. With 2 kids and a husband with ADHD…. Hmm, while I cant say “all day everyday” is the most challenging, its the “Activities of daily living” routines– getting out on time in the morning, Homework, and transitions. we’ve tried different kitchen timers that beep but a visual one could be the answer– too much prompting… “C’mon, lets go…

  25. Afternoons. Dragging my adhd son through his homework is a struggle everyday. He gets off task, loses track of time, etc. I dread middle school next year with the addition of more work and a real need to study for tests.

  26. Mornings and evenings. As an ADHD mom of an ADHD kid, these two times are when time gets away from me. Mornings, he struggles to stay on task and I struggle to stay calm. And in the afternoons, I’m at my peak focus so I lose track of time and dinner usually ends up late, then kids get off schedule. It is a constant struggle.

  27. The mornings are the worst for both of our ADHD family members. Time gets away from them easily. It is very stressful on other family members to help keep them on time. We use check list to help keep them on track but those don’t help with time concepts. This timer would help emensely.

  28. Mornings and evenings are equally hard for me to complete routine tasks. The daily setup and evening/bedtime tasks to end the day are hard because I get so distracted, when time management is clearly an issue. I think “I can fit this small task in, no problem”, and it takes longer than anticipated, derailing my routine for the morning and/or evening. Having a visual/auditory timer as a reminder would really help me stay on track!

  29. The most challenging time of day is anytime that I am in charge of the clock. My 13-year-old daughter and I both have inattentive ADHD and take medication. It doesn’t matter how much time I start out with, I always end up rushing, late to whatever – work, appointments, lessons…even picking other people up. She is usually the one who alerts me to my “spaciness” and brings me back into focus. I’d like to carry my weight, for once. The Time Timer seems to have helped a lot of people and it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot.

  30. 5:30 Because MOMMY is in Transition to dinner/bedtime, TEEN is in transition from school home, CHILDREN are in transition from play/h.w to dinner and HUSBAND is in transition from work home (WE ARE ONE BIG HAPPY ADHD FAMILY 🙂

    1. My son is 15 and has ADHD. He takes Vyvanse to help manage symptoms. As his school work gets more demandning, I’m finding that evenings are becoming much more challenging because 1) the Vyvanse has worn off and it’s harder for him to focus; 2) he can’t finish his hw at school and he has the distraction of his computer and his phone; 3) he’s going to bed later because his work is taking much longer as a result of 1 and 2. Our psychiatrist has prescribed a “booster” of Adderall for evenings, which we have just started. Not yet clear how much it will help him, and I’m a little anxious about the Aderall because of its addictive properties, knowing that if he continues to take it he will have to increasingly manage it himself.

    2. What do you mean what part of the day is the toughest? What about 24/7 !!

      Sibling violence is routine in my house. It has become more verbal and more physical as time has gone on, but the tension and hatred – between my 2 boys aged 9 and 11 has shaped us as a family since the two of them could walk. We can’t sit down and watch a television programme: muttered jibes escalate into full-blown fisticuffs. The confines of a car brings tempers to the boil in seconds. To keep the peace my husband would take one child out and I take the other. Different venues, obviously. Not much fun wandering in a shop if one of your companions is intent on kicking the hell out of the other.

      My boys can’t be left alone in a room together or one of them will literally jump on top of the other one’s head while lying on the floor. If either has friends to the house, the other tries to scupper the occasion steal the friend. Over the years, favourite toys have been smashed, special pieces of homework ripped up, photographs and souvenirs destroyed.

      Once Ruan was on his feet, he specialised in knocking Ollie off them. Hair ripped out and left in clumps like tumbleweed on the kitchen floor. A snail, stamped on in malice because Ollie had adopted it as a pet. Nicknames for each other that stuck and are too vicious for me to write here. Regular trashing’s of each other’s rooms. Hideously embarrassing outbursts in front of family friends.

      Worn down by fighting, screaming and hysteria, I wait with longing for when we can return to “normal”. A meal around the table swapping stories of our day. (Currently Ruan and Ollie have different mealtimes and even different tables.) The four of us snuggled on the sofa to watch a movie . A braai that doesn’t end with an eruption of violence and feeling that we shouldn’t have bothered.

      No one warned us that they might not get on to this extent. Can’t we have a single day trip without a battle breaking out, I’ll ask, knowing the answer full well. On Ruan’s birthday I persuade Ollie to sleep at a friend’s. On Ollie’s birthday, my husband takes Ollie with him somewhere out for the day and makes sure they don’t return until the party is over.

      I still have to put away sharp things as it can be used as weapons, in case tempers flared and a weapon proved too handy. I have to apologise to friends for the appalling behaviour just witnessed.

      I wish my kids could go for a long visit during the school holidays, each of them visit separately and everyone accepting that this is just the way things are.

  31. After school is a nightmare for my 10 year old son and I. I get home about an hour later than he does. Even though I have things written down for him to do he has not even started. Then when I start to go through his backpack he has not brought home what he needs to get those things done. It is a nightmare. I hate who I become.

  32. Our most challenging time of the day is definitely bed time! My 10 year old ADHD munchkin is either exhausted from the day, or he is so wired that it seems like he will never calm down and go to sleep. He gets out of bed 20 times at night and will want to have long philosophical discussions with me about every little thing. I can ask him about his day all evening but it seems like he doesn’t want to discuss anything with me until AFTER I’ve put him into bed lol. He makes every step of the routine feel like a 10k marathon. My 10 year needs to be reminded every day about simple tasks like brushing his teeth and his hair and getting together his school clothes for the next morning. I make a check list for him every single day about typical routines. Then the next morning it’s a domino effect and he’s unbearably grumpy in the mornings. 🙁

  33. Mornings are pretty rough but I would say nighttime is most rough – the entire bedtime routine! But worst is definitely getting our ADHD son to get to sleep in a timely fashion! We have tried numerous things but it takes an hour AT THE VERY LEAST to get him to sleep! One of these timers would be great for our whole family!!

  34. Evenings are by far the most difficult time in our household. After a demanding day at school, my son is worn out after the dinner hour. He becomes extremely hyper and has difficulty falling asleep at night. Bedtime routines are a struggle and after his meds wear off he wants to eat constantly. Getting him calmed down and ready for bed is a challenge. After he goes to bed, he is up multiple times and wants to have long conversations with me. It takes him at least an hour to fall asleep every night.

  35. Mornings are a nightmare, he has such restless sleep that when it’s time to get up for school, he’s in such a deep sleep that I struggle to get him to wake up. The more I moan, the more aggressive he becomes. When he’s eventually sat with breakfast in front of him it can take up to half an hour before he actually starts eating it. I allow an hour and a half for stuff that can be done in twenty minutes, I hate being the constant nag, it makes him angry with me, not a good start to the day.

  36. The most challenging time of day in my household are the mornings hands down! My son is easily distracted, and my daughter doesn’t help much in the streamlining process. Although it’s the same routine every morning the constant prompting and trying to maintain order to help him stay on task and on time is a job in of itself. Even with a daily morning task sheet it is hard to keep him on the ball.

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