ADHD and technology – ADHD Alarm Clock app

Adults with ADHD tend to have problems with time management. New technologies have great potential as time management tools, and I believe that smartphone apps can provide practical, cost-effective, personalized tools for individuals with adult ADHD. Towards this goal, I am designing ADHD apps based on my clinical experience at Cognitive Psychiatry. I am happy to present ADHD Alarm Clock – the first CP app for iphone and android platforms.

This app is designed to help those with Adult ADHD get to work, school, or their first appointment on time every day. The app prompts the user to enter their morning routine and an estimate of time for each part of the routine, such as shower, breakfast, getting dressed, etc. The routine is completely personalized and can be changed whenever necessary. The app then asks the user to enter the time of the first appointment, the time it takes for transportation, and how late the user was the day before. Using this information, I have created a formula which automatically sets the alarm clock for the next morning.

In using the app, you may notice several things. First, there is no snooze button. This is very important! Snooze buttons create more time confusion for adults with ADHD and I recommend they avoid “snoozing” altogether. If you need some time to lie in bed before getting up, that can be entered in your morning routine, but you should not use this time to snooze. Second, after entering the morning routine, the app does not give you a total time for morning routine. When shown the total time necessary for their morning routine, most people with adult ADHD will be surprised at the length of time; they will go back and change the times on their routine to make the total time shorter. This is common in the underestimation of time and leads to being chronically late. Third, you may be surprised at how early you need to get up! It is my experience that adults with ADHD often require 2+ hours in the morning to wake up, get through their routine, and get to work/school. This may seem excessive, but starting the day on time is critical to success throughout the day.

I hope this app is helpful and would love to get your feedback. Look for my next ADHD app coming out in early 2012!

Live Mentally Healthy,
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill

Author
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill

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