In recovery, something that you absolutely on all accounts want to avoid is having nothing to do. Boredom to the average person may be benign and just one of those things, but to the recovering addict who’s just come out of the rehab clinic – it’s actually a minefield. You begin to get restless, you have nothing better to do, so you begin to think ‘what do i usually do when i’m bored?’ Boredom gives you too much time to think. It may have something to do with why you became an addict in the first case!
Now, we know it’s impossible to ignore boredom completely, but you can manage it. If you have a regular schedule then you’re less likely to find yourself with spare time. People often think that a routine is enough. You do certain things at a certain time and there’s no need to write it down! However there is a very important benefit to writing things down.
In the beginning it’s easy for tasks to slip your mind, you will be more likely to remember things – You are more likely to remember something that you have written down, and in addition, if it does slip your mind then you merely have to check your schedule and you’ll be reminded! This ensures you won’t have to think what to do next – at this stage in your life improvisation is not your friend.
Another benefit to schedule keeping is that you’ll always have priorities down in writing. If someone asks you something you can check your schedule. If everything of importance is written, you can slot in fun stuff around that. Let me give you an example:
A buddy asks you to get dinner, you just check your schedule and see that you work until 5 o’clock, and then have a meeting, but you’ll be free for dinner at 7. Sorted!
Scheduling makes sure that there is time to do everything!
Try to find a balance that will keep you out of trouble, but won’t be too rigid as to suck the fun out of your life to the point where you abandon the schedule out of frustration and give up on it all. Even if you have some free time, you’re not likely to misuse it too much if you know you have something else coming up.
You might have an hour free but if you’re meeting some friends for football on the beach you’re less likely to wind up in the pub as you might be if you had an entire evening in which to do nothing. This is also important for those completing drug rehab.
While this is of course written to help you with your addiction, schedule keeping will help you to enjoy all aspects of life much better. If you’re working on other projects in conjunction with your recovery, it will help you to be more productive and efficient in those areas.
Stress can be a trigger for relapse, and keeping a schedule will help reduce this – giving you piece of mind and helping you keep track of your current objectives and time. Try it out by getting yourself a calendar, diary, or even just using the organiser app on your phone.