Managing time can be a key aspect of addiction recovery. If you manage your time well, you can make sure that there are no empty time periods where it may be tempting to fall into bad, addictive habits again. Moreover, keeping yourself productive and busy means you are doing more than thinking about, wanting, and reaching towards an addictive substance. If you spend your time well, you may find that you are much closer to recovery.

These skills can apply to anyone, but can be particularly effective in ending addiction.

It’s an obvious thing to do, but one we all struggle with: don’t procrastinate. Procrastination means that not only are you not doing what you’re supposed to be doing, but you are pushing it off. For whatever reason, you don’t want to do it. It may be work, homework, running errands, or visiting someone you know. It could be anything. Whatever it is, you are dreading it, and not doing it. Save yourself time, pain, and effort, and do it now! Don’t procrastinate it. Get it out of the way so that you can also get it off your mind. Procrastination only makes you inclined to procrastinate more.

Plan out your days completely, and this includes free time. Plan out when you are going to wake up, eat breakfast, run errands, go to work, shower, etc. What’s most important for addiction, though, is planning out your free time. Free time can be a destructive opportunity in which your thoughts flutter towards addiction. That’s why you need to plan what you’ll do in your time off. Make your free time a span of time in which you do something productive that you enjoy. It can be writing in a journal, going for a walk, visiting friends, etc. If you plan out your day, hour by hour, or activity by activity, you will find that you can go to bed feeling accomplished.

If you are prone to forgetting calendar items, set reminders. If you always have your phone on you, set reminders that will vibrate and get your attention. Otherwise, you could use post-it notes, a checklist, etc.

Tell your friends and family about your plans. They can also be reminders, but their peer pressure is what’s most important. Not only have you planned on your own to do something, but now someone else knows what you intend on doing with your day. They will expect you to do what you told them you would. Peer pressure can work wonders: you may find that you no longer procrastinate and are much more productive.

Managing your time in these ways can help you stay productive and sober. Set calendar goals, make plans with friends, and do what you need to do to recover from addiction. At Annie’s House, we believe it is important to have wholesome, beneficial activities in your day to distract you from addiction and lead you to recovery. Manage your time, and therefore manage your addiction.