Time wasters and addictions – – – ADD Tip O the Day 549

Time wasters, Addictions

I was addicted to computer wargames. They were taking over my time and my mind.            I tried many strategies,  but eventually had to just get rid of them all.                          Nothing else worked.
Next, I got hooked on Free Cell, though not as bad. It’s gone from my computer now.

Currently, I have chess and poker on my iPhone. I only use them at opportune moments and briefly. I don’t think they’re a problem, not yet.


But there are other things I could be doing it at those opportune moments.  My iPhone has good programs on Spanish vocabulary and on the guitar fretboard. My current strategy is to make myself do those before I turn to the chess or poker, usually.  Sometimes I work on all the cards that I carry in my shirt pocket which constantly need updating.


There are many good strategies for dealing with these temptations – set a specific time to indulge, set a timer for when to stop, and others. Good strategies, none of them worked for me.  Or for Homey, whose post about time wasters prompted this post.


There is nothing wrong with these time wasters. They can be beneficial when they provide a break and relaxation, and many of them keep our brain active and stimulated. They provide reward, a sense of mastery, and escape. But when we have lost control, when they take over, that is addiction.   And we can’t do just a little bit.


Homey on time wasters  ie games

ADD ADHD and addictions

Me and FreeCell

Some of my other addictions


add,adhd,adult adhd,adult add,add and addiction,adhdand addiction,addiction to games

Peace and calm.

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at amazon.com, or smashwords.com (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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10 Responses to Time wasters and addictions – – – ADD Tip O the Day 549

  1. Scott Marckx says:

    Hi Doug,
    For me it is screens in general. I still don’t own a cell phone. I’ve been holding out, but my wife wants me to get one if I go on long camp cruising trips in my boat so I can tell her I’m still alive, etc. I even get hooked on commercials on TV. My biggest problem seems to be the computer though, because I now use it for communicating and so can’t really stay off of it for more than a few days at a time and then there’s a pile of email to deal with. I either waste lots of time every day or have a few days free of that addiction and then a big pile of it. No one taught us how to deal with this much information/communication overload. I still haven’t figured it out…Shiny screens do me in every time!
    All the best and thank you for your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scott – tough problems. I agree with your implication that this is a societal problem in general, with the overload, but don’t you think it’s particularly difficult for us ADDers? We have trouble setting priorities and making decisions etc.
      can you still get a cell phone that only has a telephone on it? That might make your wife more comfortable when you’re out?
      Wish I had a good strategy for the emails. I use the unsubscribe button sometimes, and that helps a little.
      Maybe having a few days free and then giving it one day is a fairly good strategy?
      Pleaselet me know if you come up with something.
      As always, thank you for commenting


      • Scott Marckx says:

        Hi Doug,
        Yes, it is worse being an ADDer. I think the ADD literature has helped me to see what is happening, but it is a very difficult problem. On the computer I can just keep going with whatever (usually everything!) is interesting and then the time races by. I have trouble staying on task with work, but can spend 4 hours on the computer without noticing. That is the problem in a nutshell. The solution would be go back to what it was like before I had a computer, but that doesn’t seem to be a viable option. Somehow we “need” computers now,… and cell phones I’m told, but I’m still not going there! Taking a few days off of the computer seems to be the best option I have found so far.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Scott – yes we can hyperfocus when something interests us, or is novel or challenging. Then we had trouble on focusing, shifting gears.
          So the definition of your problem is that used to spend more time on the computer than you want? you are not in control?
          What strategies have you tried so far?
          Thank you for commenting.


          • Scott Marckx says:

            Thanks Doug,
            Strategies so far:
            1. Staying off the computer for several days at a time. (This one seems to work somewhat. It also helps me to not take as much time on each email when there is a whole pile of them to deal with.)
            2. Setting a timer. (This only works for quiting work on time, doesn’t seem to work when I have been sucked in to the computer or something else that is “shiny”.)
            3. Writing goals and posting in a place I see them. (This doesn’t always work at the time I am “sucked in”, but it does help with the big picture, with keeping off the computer for several days, with deciding what to do when looking at a list, with getting back to what I care about when I have gotten helplessly off track.)
            4. Journaling each night. (This helps me see what happened during the day and what I hope to happen the next day, plus gives me a longer term picture when I take the time to look back through old journals. Just visualizing the next day with the help of writing it down in my journal helps a lot.)
            5. Meditation. (This helps with feeling where I am at, getting centered (or realizing how scattered my thoughts are), and helps me realize that it is O.K., even when things are going downhill.)
            6. Writing what I do and the time in my little calendar. (This can help me get back on track, remind me of important appointments, help me see patterns in my life and pick out problems.)

            Thanks Doug for asking what strategies I use. This is helpful for me to just list the ones that come to mind. I also keep the cards with to-do lists folded in my little calendar. That is one of the great take-aways from your book, which I should read again. It is a very helpful book.

            All the best,

            Liked by 1 person

            • Scott – Those are some good strategies! Glad to have them here on the blog
              1. sounds like its working. I like the shorter time on the emails idea.
              2. my timer strategy (or for my alarm) is to use two, set five or 10 minutes apart. Especially if the second one is loud and annoying and you set it all the way across the room from the computer
              3.goals is a great strategy. I find just reviewing them occasionally, and daily would be better, does help me stay on track, although not necessarily at the moment.
              4. Journaling is a great strategy, has a lot of benefits. You might just put a note (for example, “C+”) each day that you did well at managing the computer. That’s a reward.
              5. Meditation is a wonderful strategy.
              6. I’m not totally clear how you do this one, but it sounds like you’re keeping track of what you’re doing, and it also helps you look at your appointment book frequently, so it sounds good.
              would it make any sense to you to schedule a “mess up.” day, or half a day, when you just mess with the computer, or goof off any way you want? it might seem like a waste of time. when you have a lot to be done, but at the end of the week, you might actually have wound up doing more?
              thank you for responding and commenting.
              Best wishes


  2. Homey – I know, I still miss all those old games too. But there are so many other things to do that are more productive, are enjoyable and relaxing, and do take our minds off our troubles for a while. I guess they’re just not as addictive?
    As always, thank you for commenting.


  3. Boy do I miss those games on my iPhone! I knew I played them a lot but I didn’t realize how much they filled in gaps for me. Getting more reading done, though.


  4. Tom – I don’t know “Battle for middle Earth”, thank God. I do play some guitar, blues, praise, jazz, lots of country, and that’s one of the ways I’d rather be spending my time than playing these games. Why should it be hard to get myself to do that?
    Thanks for the comment.


  5. Doug I love “Battle for middle earth” I was just about to stop playing it when I realized I could make my own custom maps. DAMN! I am in it bigger than ever. I am able to control it though. I did not know you played the guitar. I have been sort of playing for 20 years. Classical/SpanishGuitar


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