Contests

Working & Learning from Home Sweepstakes: Win a Time Timer!

Enter to win one of five Time Timer PLUS 60 Minute in White — a great tools for managing work and school days from home — by answering this question below: What keeps your child on task and on schedule while learning from home? What keeps you focused and productive while WFH?

Working and Learning from Home with ADHD

The world has shifted beneath our feet. Schools and offices have shuttered indefinitely. Sports are canceled. Playdates and birthday parties are off. Everyone is on Zoom and Google Classroom all the time. New learning and working expectations are dictating our days, while new daily schedules and routines are proving awfully tough to maintain with so much ADHD in the house at all times.

How Time Timer Helps

The Time Timer PLUS 60 Minute in White is the perfect visual timer for keeping students and professionals on track while working and studying from home. As time elapses, the red disk disappears, therefore increasing focus and making the abstract concept of time concrete. Clinically proven to increase self-regulation in children, this 60-minute Time Timer model features a carrying handle to further encourage independence and provide endless uses around the home. Ideal for active kids or a day full of meetings.

Enter to Win a Time Timer

To win one of five Time Timer PLUS 60 Minute in White (a $41.45 value each), use the Comments section below to tell us: What keeps your child on task and on schedule while learning from home? What keeps you focused and productive while WFH?

Deadline

Thursday, April 30, 2020, at 11:59 pm EST.

Rules

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 Monday, May 4, 2020.
(Official rules)


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215 Comments & Reviews

  1. What keeps me on task is listening to music and also setting a timer on my phone to go off every 2 hours to switch tasks for work. I don’t have such a good system when it comes to my person life but at least I’m making a dent trying to be productive at my “work from home” job as it has turned into.

  2. I rewrote old routines and updated them in Brili. I’m still using rewards for my least favorite tasks. I’m still using accountability from some friends to help me stay on task. The coping skills are the same, but the difficulty level is harder.

  3. We are still struggling to find our stride— I am a health care worker that works nights and my spouse WFH — so that adds an interesting layer to all of this… But things that have helped us are utilizing a block schedule, plenty of out door time to work off some of the nervous energy, and trying my best to force myself to take a little time for me— so that I have the energy to get through the day with 3 kiddos (1 with ADHD) doing distance learning.

  4. We use visual timers to help them get their routines done (With bed-time stories for rewards). As for me being an adult with ADHD and my 5 year old daughter who couldn’t respect my boundaries for studying, I had to reverse the door knobs on our bedroom door so that I could ensure interruption-free time. I also drew a clock that I keep on the door outside while I am studying. It points to the next time I will be taking a break that the little ones can look forward to.

  5. I don’t have kids so I can’t offer any help with that one!
    But I work remotely often. I try to wear my over the ear headphones because it helps me focus. Also, creating a habit of sitting in the same place daily, designated just for “serious work”, also helps me. That work area needs to be quiet and without interference from pets and people.😊

  6. For homeschooling my 7 yr old follows a schedule. I set alarms and visual timers so he can see how much time is left. The timer helps me as well to see where he’s at as far as time left goes. There are so many times I wish I had more timers because it makes it hard when you depend on them.
    For work at home I also use visual timers so I can a lot a certain amount of time for a task.

  7. We have our daily academics listed in order of importance from math, reading, spelling, language arts on down. They have to check off the big whammies at the top before they get to do the “fun” technology, music, etc. that are optional. This has been especially challenging for me with my ADHD to try to keep three kids with ADHD (two with ODD) focused on their assignments in a gentle way. Our school has been over-the-top with expectations to the point that I have had to ask to make several assignments optional that aren’t part of common core. The list of daily expectations has been helpful for us all. As for me, I feel like my productivity has improved. Life has finally slowed to a pace that I am comfortable with. I have time to garden, exercise, cook…my soul is being fed in healthy ways which always helps my productivity and focus.

  8. Sticking to a written daily schedule has helped. With every hour or two of work, we have checked in to see if we want to keep going or do a bit of fun (a short animation or comedy, game, dance, walk outside) etc. This has helped to check in with ourselves, work together to support eachother to stay on task, and accomplish work while not feeling burned out. And having a non negotiable lights out for bedtime has allowed for us to get enough rest to be ready for the next day.

  9. Completing work without devices and in short stints helps. Unfortunately, some of their work needs to be completed on devices, which allows for easy distraction. While working from home during this period, I need to have short breaks to check in on them, encourage, and put together some snacks to keep their energy up.

  10. I’ve been scheduling my days obsessively. Even if I don’t perfectly stick to the schedule, having what I need to do next written out helps keep me on track.

  11. Maintaining a set routine, having a designated place for schoolwork has helped tremendously for my son. Also, discussing goals and tasks to accomplish keeps us both engaged.

    For me, setting a short timer and keeping a short list of work tasks to complete each day helps. The sooner I get after tasks, the better.

  12. For my work, I use Google calendar so that I can block off specific appointments with students and then blocks of time necessary for household tasks. I can add tasks directly to the calendar as well as color code it so that I know at a glance what the priorities are and exactly what is needed in each block.

    For my son (11), he works better with more flexibility and mini-breaks. I check out his day’s classwork the night before and put it in a logical order. Then, I give him a checklist with an hour for each subject with directions, lunch, “recess,” and then some supplemental activities. For example: 8 Breakfast, 9 Reading, 10 Social Studies or Art (draw with Dave Pilkey, photo scavenger hunt), 11 Recess (something physical and outside or the Nintendo Switch RingFit), 12 Lunch, 1 Math, 2 Science or STEAM (Legos, creating his Roblox game). He can choose whether to play something each hour if he finishes early or to start on the next task in order to bank time later. If he has a lot of reading in the lessons, we adapt by having freetime while I work and then “Mom as reader” in the afternoon. (If I help read, he can knock out all schoolwork out in 1.5-2 hours.)

  13. A great work space with everything we need stocked in it helps provide focus and consistency for all of us here. It’s got to include a proper desk to sit at with lightening and a solid chair. Otherwise sitting at the kitchen table or on the couch is way too distracting. I think it gives my 7 year old a sense that he’s ‘going to school’ sitting there and gets him in the mood for work. Not having to run around for chargers, pencils, rulers, paper, etc makes a huge difference in getting stuff done.

  14. I have to have close physical proximity to keep my kids on track. It also helps for them to have clear goals and expectations with respect to time they need to focus on work and what they have to accomplish to have a break. Finally, it has to be their idea for any system or it will not work. I try to give as much positive feedback as possible as well.

    I make myself a daily to do list and write down notes of things I need to do or have questions about that I need to have answered by a coworker. I keep a notebook of all I have done for the day.

  15. The kids get up and do their usual routine, shower, teeth brushed, dressed for day and breakfast; then, work time we go. Only having one timer forces us to use cell phones for timers (distractor? YES!), however we make do. We find their assignments for the day for each class and break them down to smaller, more manageable steps. Then, they choose which to start on. Every 20-25 min a break is needed for a walk or fresh air or something to reset.
    My husband and I have to trade on and off as for who gets to work at our desk. I get it until 3, when I’m done teaching, and my husband gets it for the rest of the night, when his more rigorous courses are. Using the app FOCUSED has been HUGE for us as it impedes is from checking any of the family ‘blacklist’ sites; ie. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.

  16. To keep my sons on task, we treat every day like a typical school day, following the same routines that they have been all year (get up, make bed, get dressed, eat breakfast, clean up, brush teeth). Then their school day starts (which is very scheduled per our school district with live meets all morning and directed tasks in the afternoon). Some movement breaks and periodic check-ins help keep them focused. For me, it’s the same. I treat each day like a typical day and follow the same routines I have been following all year as well. I try to reinforce that this is still school and work, just in a different setting. We definitively try to get outside as much as we can, too.

  17. What keeps your child on task and on schedule while learning from home?
    This whole ‘virtual learning’ experience has taught me that my son with ADHD needs significant supports in the area of executive functioning. Each morning, we start by previewing the materials provided by his teachers and creating a To-Do list for the day. That list may seem like a small task, but it is essential to keeping him on track and feeling as though the workload is manageable.

    The other key to success for us has been teaching the importance of brain breaks. Once my son is able to get on track, he begins to hyperfocus and often ends up frustrated and overwhelmed if he cannot complete his entire To-Do list in one sitting. Pre-planning breaks and/or recognizing emotions for what they are (ex: overwhelm) instead of how they are typically expressed (ex: anger) has essential.

  18. I must work from 9 to 12 online. My daughter classes start at 12:30 to 2:00. During my working hours my daughter is sleeping, then wake up have breakfast, and start her online classes. After that she stays in her room talking to her classmates.

  19. For my two sons, we treat each day as a typical school day, following the same routines they have been doing all year (get up, make bed, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get needed supplies for school). Then their school day starts, which is very structured and scheduled (per our school district’s learning plan). They have live meets all morning and partially into the afternoon. Then they have scheduled tasks in the afternoon to complete. Movement breaks and periodic check-ins help to keep them on-task. A visual schedule of the day also helps. For me, it’s the same. I treat each day as a typical school day and get ready as I normally would all year. I have a list of things I need to accomplish each day and also take some movement breaks, too. We also try to get outside as much as possible.

  20. Right now my son has Zoom classes that he must attend with his teachers and work that must be submitted by a certain time. He is expected to get his work done before he can play video games, etc. I work also from home so it is hard to monitor his work.

  21. My son is five years old, has an IEP for developmental delay and ADHD combined. What helps us are social stories during teachable moments on how to manage time. He needs a reminder 10 ten than one minute before transitioning between tasks. He likes the timers because he can see the county down which he loves. We also have a weekly preschool calender that we follow and review. While WRH, having a schedule and reminders with sound help me to focus. I have reminders not only to do tasks but also to self care.

  22. What keeps my child on task and on schedule while learning from home is staying in routine, even during weekends and spring break, etc. No matter how much he wants to stay up late or sit around all day in his PJ’s – we give a little and are not overly strict, but eventually, everyone gets dressed, brushes teeth, etc., and we all eat good, healthy meals. What keeps you focused and productive while WFH is LOTS of positive praise, rewards and two-way conversation with him. We try and give him choices and a little control of his own life so he can make some of his own decisions. We scaffold down time so he knows when the fun things he’s doing is going to end. Those would not be good surprises! And we warn him ahead of time on unpreferred activities but not too far in advance or else he won’t sleep! We are constantly ON! It’s exhausting and this timer would really help tremendously. I’ve wanted to get him one for years but could not afford it. Thank you for considering us!! 🙂

  23. My teenage daughter is helped immensely by:
    -Teachers having consistent times for online meetings and assignments.
    -Dictating her sleep/work schedule, as long as she gets her schoolwork done.
    -Having set goals in place for herself.
    -Gentle reminders from parents. We are cc’d on all her emails and follow up with her.
    -Having her own space to do her work.
    -keeping a calendar in her own creative way.

    As far as myself and working:
    -Cozi calendar!
    -writing out my weekly schedule every Sunday night or Monday morning
    -setting timers
    -giving myself a break and being honest with coworkers when I lose track of time. They have been very understanding.

  24. We have a visual of each item that needs to be completed for the day. My kids will flip over each assignment after it is done and checked. Then move on to the next. They can choose the order of the assignments they want to complete because they know that they have to complete them all. They can have a break that is timed if the need to move around or get some energy I out.

  25. Keeping a tween focused and on task has been very challenging. With WFH full-time, teaching and supervision responsibilities have fallen to my partner, who also struggles with executive functions. We’ve found setting up a “school day” divided into time slots for each subject, combined with reward activities, modeling,and exercise, have really helped us all manage our time more effectively and has reduced our family stress level.

  26. A reward after the work is done is what my kids work for.

    For me, I’ve found I need to make my to do list the night before and tackle the hardest thing 1st. Setting time limits helps, but I always seem to go over the allotted time I’ve allowed myself. At least I’m working and making progress.

  27. We have a color coded schedule and use our school iPads to set timers to complete assignments. My boys are 10 and 13 and both struggle with attention and executive functioning. We have a lot of built in time for breaks, exercise, mindfulness, creative challenges, and quiet time. Routine is key for us. They’ve been able to accomplish a lot of productive work independently, although the sound of the timer sometimes catches them off guard (or can’t come soon enough!)

    For me, I flipflop my work time with when they’re engaged and occupied. I’m a teacher, so most of what I’m assigning can be done at my own pace and scheduled for my students. I can also provide feedback or connect with them in the times my boys are occupied. Having older kids on a structured routine is mandatory in order for me to keep up with my own work. A husband able to tag in when needed is extremely helpful as well! It’s a lot of emphasis on balance for us all!

  28. I’m a 37yo ADHD man, and play “work at home daddy” to a 6yo girl and an 8yo boy. They are great at buckling down and focusing, it is me that has the toughest time ignoring the distracting questions or breaking up arguments. I have to block just about all the noise out or at least take the edge of the noises off. For that I use high decebal rated construction headphones. I am a park ranger for the army and my regular work day involves a mix of outdoor work and minimal at my desk work. But when I’ve got my desk work it can be very complex. So I take my meds and put on the headphones and buckle down. I also try to remember to use the apps that limit time on your phone and remind you to get back to work.

  29. I spend at least an hour a day planning and prioritizing tasks. It may feel like a waste of time, but I make up for it by knowing exactly what to do when I actually start.

  30. My kids have individual check-off lists for each item of each week’s homework assignments, and it is very rewarding to physically mark off each completed task as they go. We initially did the assignments day-by-day, but we tried a different approach this week & have discovered that it is easier for them to stay focused and complete assignments easier when they choose the subject they want to work on & just do the whole week’s worth of that subject in one day. Sometimes they even choose to work ahead on another subject, not required by me, but they are realizing the benefits of not procrastinating & staying on task. Of course, we take several breaks during the day & go outside for a change of scenery & play. Recess is so important & benefits them in so many ways. As for myself, I complete my necessary duties in the nooks and crannies of the day, it is challenging to focus and complete tasks with the constant distractions of helping them with their schoolwork (new material they must be taught) & tending to the baby. We have been using the timer on my iPhone for math and reading assignments, so winning this timer would be especially helpful in our home! Thanks!

  31. We have a few strategies that keep my son on task with school at home–making and following a daily task checklist, scheduling our school hours, and giving an incentive for each school subject that’s completed.

  32. Folliwig a schedule seems to help keep us both on track. I give him Monday off, free day, so that I can have one day to focus on my paperwork, phone calls and teleconferences. This day also helps me create his schedule for the week. The rest of the week he follows his schedule with breaks. During his breaks and independent work, I work on my duties.

  33. As contradictory as it may sound we are benefiting from routine. Breaking things up into twenty minutes blocks, making sure all medications are taken, and twenty minutes every two hours to shake our sillies out…..do I think this will work indefinitely… probably not but right now it is still somewhat new/different and thus a lark.

  34. We have schedules that are posted and include activity/movement breaks.
    I also have tasks on my todo list that I need to complete for the day (section for work things and one for home things)

  35. I write out a chart showing all my sons classes and what has been assigned that week when it’s due, and a spot for him to check off when he has submitted it. Otherwise it’s a battle to keep him on task. It’s hard when they just stare at the computer getting nothing done. And then they are shocked they have to work longer to complete something that could have took 30 min.

  36. We are using a family whiteboard that is on an easel in the living room. The four of us have a section for our Daily Big 3-5, Zoom Schedule for Meetings, Work Schedule for teenager, etc. I am using the Pomodoro Technique whenever possible which is blocking time for focused action steps using a 25 minute timer. Then 5 minute break, then back to another 25 minute block of focused action steps.

  37. I break it down and give my 8 year old 1 step to do at a time. My 12 year old helps if I’m in a meeting by giving him the following steps. However each day is different and I have found that flexibility is key. I would rather catch up on a task or two over the weekend then deal with an emotionally draining battle of wills between conference calls and deadlines.

    Additionally I stay in contact with his teacher. Since the lesson plans are sent to all parents in a mass email I know the instructions are for the masses. Since my son has a 504 plan his teachers would likely alter those instructions in the classroom regularly so I ask how to approach the tasks to best support his amazing mind.

    Finally, when all else fails… Fortnite and Wine!!! Let’s be real, I’m not a teacher and this situation is stressful. So judge me if you want, but please do so while maintaining social distancing. 😉😁

  38. I have set alarms to take meds, try and keep morning schedule the same. Set a bedtime alarm and stick to it. I do need a timer to be on my phone everyday. Time just runs away with me.

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