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Timeout: An app to help keep you on track

Timeout is a program for your computer* that lets you set time intervals where the screen will dim and force you to stop what you’re doing.

timeoutSo, how can you use Timeout to keep you on track? Here are 4 ideas to use the app strategically:

  1. Set the timer for intervals to remind you to take an energy break. Things like stretching or getting up and moving around are helpful in re-energizing and re-focusing. But, we don't always remember to take the time to do it, so this is where Timeout can help. You can even put in a message that reminds you how to use that time - like "get up and get a glass of water!"

  2. Set up periodic motivational reminders. Since you can set messages to pop up when your screen dims, we say take advantage of this! Write a message that you wish you told yourself, but is rarely top of mind in the moment. For example: "Are you overwhelmed? If so take 3 deep breaths."

  3. Set the timer to dim your screen for 5-10 seconds so you can check-in with yourself. The break won't be enough to completely throw you off, but you can make sure you're doing what you want to be doing. Are you procrastinating? Have you been stuck on the same sentence for 20 minutes? Timeout will help you pull out of that and more easily shift gears.

  4. Use Timeout to help with transitions. Individuals with ADHD often have difficulty transitioning from one task to another. In particular, it's tough to shift from an interesting task to a less interesting one, like bedtime. If you set a longer interval to dim your screen, it will force you to pull away from what you were doing. Then, once you're torn away, it sometimes feels a LITTLE BIT easier to move on. You can also set up notifications pre-break to let you know it's coming up (so you're mentally preparing yourself).

So there you have it, four potential ideas to use Timeout to help keep you on track!

*Sorry folks, Timeout is only available on Mac computers. For a PC alternative check out Workrave.

For other ideas check out: ADHD-Friendly Apps that Help with Time Management and Organization

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