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12 Tips to Get the Most from Sobriety by Boosting Your Productivity


productivityPeople who are still drinking or using drugs can find it hard to imagine what they would do with their time if they become sober. It is usually not long into recovery though that people find they have the opposite problem – they just do not have enough hours in the day to do all the things they want to do.

In order to get the most out of your sobriety, you need to be able to use your time as effectively as possible. This might sound a bit dull until you remember it is all about fitting in as much fun as possible into your day. There are many steps you can take to boost your productivity, but below are just 12 of the most effective techniques for this.

1. Develop Some Morning Rituals

It might sound very unreasonable to expect you to add more stuff to your busy schedule, but the benefit of morning rituals is that these actually increase your ability to get stuff done throughout the rest of the day. Spending just half an hour on some mental, physical, and emotional practices can get you firing on all cylinders, meaning you will be more productive.

There are many options for activities you can add to your morning rituals, but the most effective can be:

  • meditation
  • tai-chi/chi-gung
  • aerobics
  • positive visualisations
  • inspirational readings
  • yoga
  • walk to work.

It is best to have a mix of activities so you are benefiting your mental as well as your physical health.

2. Drink a Few Glasses of Water First Thing in the Morning

It is believed that one of the reasons many people feel tired and a bit washed out is because they are chronically dehydrated. Things tend to be worse in the morning because you will not have been drinking while you were asleep. You may be amazed at how much you overcome the groggy feeling in the morning by just drinking a few glasses of water.

3. Take Regular Breaks throughout the Day

Taking regularly breaks can increase your productivity because it means you can keep your brain fresh. You can use a tool like the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for 25-minute periods, and taking five-minute breaks in-between each session. It is common for individuals to spend hours slogging away at a project, but the fact that they are not taking breaks means that they become less productive as each minute passes.

4. Limit Your Access to Social Media

It is scary the amount of time many spend wasting on social media – especially now that it is so easy to do this anywhere due to mobile devices. What happens is that users actually start to use these websites almost automatically without thinking about it. It may mean that you are wasting a lot of time each day on stuff that is not important to you. If you enjoy social media then you should certainly make the most of it, but it is the mindless social media use that may be eating up some of your productivity. It is a good idea to block these websites when you are trying to do any type of work at home or in the office.

5. Watch less TV

If there is a good TV show on, it is understandable that you will want to watch it. The problem is that a lot of the time, many just end up watching whatever is on and the TV becomes like chewing gum for the eyes. Imagine how much you could get done if you used this time for one of your hobbies or to take on an extra project. You do need time to rest and recuperate, but there are far more productive ways of doing this than watching TV.

6. Get up an Hour Earlier

If you already spend more than eight hours in bed, you will probably be able to easily take back an extra hour from sleep. This is even more likely if you spend some of your time in bed lying awake. Going to bed can become a habit like anything else, and it isn’t always about the amount of sleep you require. If you feel you are getting plenty of sleep, you might want to try getting up an hour earlier. Alternatively, you can go to bed an hour earlier, so you can get up earlier – this is a good idea if you tend to be more productive in the morning.

7. Create a Prioritised Plan for Your Day

It is a good idea to plan your day the evening before. This way you get to see exactly what you have to do. It is also helpful to prioritise your tasks because at least this way you can be sure of getting these essential tasks completed. There are now many apps for your mobile phone or tablet device that make this type of prioritised planning easier.

8. Develop More Gratitude

The great thing about gratitude is it can actually give your motivation a boost so you are able to get a lot more done each day. An effective technique is to keep a gratitude diary that you complete every night. All you need to do is write down all the positive things in your life at the moment – it only needs to take a few minutes. Developing gratitude like this not only boosts your motivation, it also strengthens your recovery.

9. Stop Saying Negative Things

Some people are completely unaware of the fact that they are overly negative in the things they say. This is not only annoying for others, but it can actually sap the individual’s motivation. Words are incredibly powerful things. For example, the fact that somebody says he or she feels tired can actually make them feel even more tired. It is best to get in the habit of saying deliberately positive things because this can give your psyche a boost.

10. Do the Hardest Thing First of All

It is usually best that you do the hardest thing first each day when your energy levels and mental abilities are likely to be at their highest. If you delay, this job will probably just be there in the back of your mind and it may sap your motivation for other tasks. By getting it out of the way, you can give your motivation a boost, and you will fly through all the other jobs that come afterwards.

11. Use Positive Visualisations to Boost Your Motivation

Spending a few seconds visualising yourself completing a task can actually boost your ability to get the job done. Athletes do this all the time because apparently the brain does not really differentiate between imagining a task and actually doing it. Some people even suggest that you can create synaptic connections in your brain when you imagine doing a task – this makes it easier to do the real activity.

12. Use Podcasts and Audiobooks When Travelling to Work

If you do not have enough time to devote to learning about the world or the things that interested you, why not double up on tasks. One way of doing this is by listening to podcasts or audiobooks when you are travelling to work or exercising.

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