How to Stay Productive at Work While Still in Recovery

woman at work struggling to stay productive
It can be difficult to be productive at work while you're in recovery.

We live in a very competitive society when it comes to finding a job and keeping it. Even for a person that’s never tasted a drop of alcohol, it’s still a challenge to find a good job and get accepted into a workplace.

It becomes even worse when you’re a person recovering from some form of addiction such as alcoholism, as a lot of supervisors (through their own fault or otherwise) can be rather prejudiced concerning your ability.

And truly, it can be really difficult to adapt to a workplace while you’re still in recovery and keep up with your co-workers who haven’t had to deal with addiction like you. Discouraged by such thoughts, you may find yourself delaying going back to work until after rehab. And while this can be a good idea if you’re really struggling with your addiction, getting back to work can often actually help speed up your recovery; working gives you a sense of purpose and keeps your mind off of unhealthy thoughts.

By integrating yourself back into a working community, you’ll find a renewed sense of belonging and purpose, which will do wonders for your addiction on its own.

The fact remains, however, that most employers don’t want workers that aren’t productive enough for any reason whatsoever.

To help you achieve a certain level of productivity that will tell your employer you’re ready for some serious work, here are some helpful tips.

Learn to Manage Stress

If you haven’t worked for some time, stress may become a problem for you. Adopting a busy working schedule while still struggling with your addiction is just going to make it worse, but luckily there are some very effective techniques for minimizing stress.

First and foremost, look into meditation; practicing meditation and breath control for as long as 5 minutes, 3 times a day can help you control your stress levels dramatically.

Communicate your feelings with your loved ones instead of bottling them up inside of you, and don’t push yourself too far too soon. A bit of pressure might help you be more productive at work, but too much can simply make you shut down and not be able to do anything.

Make a Plan

Writing down everything that you need to do on paper and constantly being aware of it is a phenomenal way of handling your workload. There’s nothing worse than forgetting something important that needs to be done, in the midst of millions of other things that need to be done as well.

Write out your tasks in detail, and prioritize them. Once you have a list telling you exactly what you need to do, you’ll find that you have a lot more energy to actually do them, instead of constantly thinking about them and whether you’ve forgotten something.

Remove Any Distractions

One of the biggest distractions in the office can be your cell phone. With the countless number of apps and social media accounts people have these days, it’s an obvious productivity killer. If you don’t need your phone for work purposes, try turning it off while you’re at work or leaving it out of your sight.

The last thing your boss wants to see is you messing around on your phone when you should be doing actual work.

Make a conscious effort to concentrate on work and not be distracted by other things that may be happening around you.

Remember to Take a Break

Do you find yourself working through lunch on a regular basis? There are various articles detailing why taking a proper lunch break away from your desk is more beneficial to both the company and employee than having staff work through lunch.

In addition to taking a well-deserved lunch break, if you’re feeling unfocused during business hours and can’t seem to get anything done, why not take a short break? Sometimes all you need to get back on track is a brief interruption to refresh your mind and keep those cravings at bay.

Taking a moment to stretch out your arms and legs can do wonders to re-energize you and improve your concentration. If you’re finding that cravings are becoming unbearable, take this time to check in and remind yourself of why you decided to quit in the first place.

Talk to Your Boss

It’s very important to make sure that you and your boss are on the same page. If you feel that you’ll need to reorganize your working hours, take breaks, or do anything else that’ll make your work experience during recovery a bit easier, consult your boss before you make any decisions and see what they think about it.

This will build trust between you and your employer and help you both construct a plan that you can both work with, without sacrificing overall productivity.

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