Time management is quite the rage for college students, parents on the go, and anyone juggling more than one job. It’s the buzzword that everyone likes; everyone deems productive, yet, few people apply true time management techniques to their daily routine (and we wonder why chaos and caffeine rule most of our days).
It’s not that time management is a difficult concept to grasp — it’s just a rhythm that we must establish that first requires us to wreck what we know, and though we might not like to admit it (or maybe we don’t even realize it), we are comfortable within our daily rise and grind that centers of chaos.
Why? There’s no one specific answer. Perhaps chaos keeps our brains busy, serving as a distraction from other things we don’t want to process. Maybe we see life through the wonky kaleidoscope lens that defines a hectic schedule as productivity and progress. Or maybe, just maybe, we’ve settled into chaos because we don’t know any different.
The latter sounds like the more reasonable option, so let’s test the waters of time management and dive into a few ways that it might create a healthier balance in your life and block out a lot of chaotic noise but also create a more productive recovery experience:
#1. Routine Lowers Anxiety
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America states that nearly 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety to some degree. That’s almost 18% of the entire population. Needless to say, anxiety serves as a heightened stressor that makes it hard to work through not only the hard things but the daily aspects of your life, too.
However, when you sit down and map out how your day will go when you take the time to establish a daily routine that you can depend on — from planning out meals to running errands — your brain knows what to expect throughout the day.
When your brain knows what to expect, anxiety has less time to creep in and steal your thoughts and ability to function within a given circumstance. When anxiety is at bay, it allows you to focus on what’s most important, and throughout treatment, it’s crucial that your mind is sharp and focused on classes, therapy appointments, and the guidance of staff and counselors.
#2. Schedules Promote Healthy Priorities
Establishing a routine is a solid way to be “in the know” of your own life, but creating this daily rhythm requires a strategy with your best interests in mind. In other words, although you could just list “watching TV” or “playing video games” as part of your routine, that’s not the strategic sort of purpose behind routines.
Instead, you need a schedule that lists your specific priorities first. For some, that looks like implementing more physical exercise in the morning before work, and for others, it means quiet time at night to read the Bible.
Do you know what some of your priorities are regarding your recovery journey? Does physical exercise help? Does seeing a therapist need to be added as part of your Monday schedule? If you aren’t sure what your top priorities regarding recovery are, take some time to talk with staff, counselors, and doctors to discover key recovery activities that need to be part of your schedule.
#3. Time Management Balances Past, Present, and Future
When anxiety is at bay, and your priorities are clearly scheduled week by week, day by day, or even hour by hour, this gives your mind and heart time to process your recovery journey — past, present, and future.
Whether a weekly therapy appointment or Sunday school class has been added to your schedule, this allows you the opportunity to work through your past in a less chaotic, more calm atmosphere that encourages forgiveness and grace for yourself and others.
This healthier rhythm also allows you to continue establishing healthy practices in the future, implementing classes, exercises, appointments, and events that fit your current routine, and continue enhancing your recovery process. Meanwhile, these present-day practices pave the way for a healthy future that continues to make full recovery part of the everyday goal.
Healthy time management involves getting into the nitty-gritty details of routines, schedules, positive habits, negative practices, and everything that separates a hectic, lifeless lifestyle from a holistic, thriving life. Take some time to sit down in the quiet and map out your key recovery goals and the best ways to reach those goals, and continue to meet new goals with new, healthy routines in place.
Time management can be a hard and intimidating task while balancing your recovery program. It’s not always easy to keep long-term goals at the forefront of your mind, especially when you’re in the grit and grind of your recovery process. Like all other aspects of the journey (the physical, mental, and emotional), it takes some uphill work and a constant willingness to stay in the fight to see the hope that lies on the other side of putting in the daily work over and over again. Sure, it’s often easier said than done, and if you’re having trouble seeing the light at the end of the addiction recovery tunnel, our staff at Renaissance Ranch is available to connect you with the right people and resources. Healing is hard, but you don’t have to walk through it alone. If you’re struggling with any aspect of addiction, addiction recovery, or reintegration, we can help. To learn more about our assistance, please contact us today at (801) 308-8898.