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Recovery 101: Time Management

Keeping a calendar, a to do list, and setting goals are all important time management while in recoveryTime management doesn’t seem like a necessary tool for recovery, but it’s an important one. When addicted, a large amount of time is spent on fantasizing, planning, engaging, hiding, and recuperating from one’s addiction. So once in recovery, time that was once spent on addiction needs to be filled with healthy activities. This is to avoid feeling overwhelmed and to avoid empty time slots or unproductive time periods, which may trigger relapse. A successful recovery will involve learning skills of time management in a way that produces healthy growth.

Here are some tips for effective time management:

  • Organize. This might include keeping a daily or monthly calendar.
  • To Do List. Make a list either the night before or the morning of and include all that needs to be done.
  • Prioritize. Make a list of all the tasks that you need to get done that day, week, or month and then  number which ones are the most important and should be done first.
  • Set Personal Goals. Setting goals are a great way to focus on the future, not the past. Make short-term and long-term goals. When completed, marking goals off on a calendar can be a great motivator.
  • Make smaller tasks. If there is anything on your calendar, to do list, or goal list that is overwhelming, break it into smaller tasks to complete, even if on different days. This will make them more manageable.
  • Evaluate progress. Keeping a calendar and lists are a great way to evaluate your progress. Check in on a weekly basis to see what is and isn’t being accomplished. Make adjustments if necessary.

The key to successful time management is to understand the importance of plans, lists and goals, but to also realize that life is unpredictable. Watch out for perfectionism and lack of flexibility, two major pitfalls of poor time management.

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Addiction Recovery Center
1100 Poydras Street, Suite 2900
New Orleans, LA 70163
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