The little-known sober superpower: doing five days of work in four

Andy Ramage | April 2019 | 7 minutes

Sober Spring week five: Easter weekend often means overtime the week before and after, given our five-day week suddenly gets shortened - but you may find that this particular Easter, this sober Easter, you feel more together, more productive, less headless chicken. Why?

Removing alcohol from your life for a period of time, like during Sober Spring, enables you to dedicate your life to optimal health and productivity. It’s so simple; yet one of the most powerful business tools you will ever experience.

Perhaps you have tried meditation, improving your diet or firing up your exercise routines? Perhaps you have tried every productivity tool on the market?

Yet the one lifestyle improvement that trumps all others, taking a break from the booze, is often overlooked.

This makes no sense. We put so much time and effort into diet, exercise and productivity tools only to destroy the best-laid plans with a few drinks too many.

I am not just talking about those one-off big nights out. I am also talking about the slow productivity stealer of a couple of drinks, which destroys sleep and motivation along with it.

Here are just a few reasons why a break from alcohol will help you boost your business performance, and life outside work.

#1 Time for a life outside the office

Drinking takes time and the aftermath takes even more. Once free from alcohol you get tons of time and energy back. With more time you can reignite old hobbies and interests, which give you a life - outside of work.

Taking part in those activities we enjoy provides a massive wellbeing boost, which can often motivate you to excel in the workplace.

Want to know more? Check out the science of why happy thriving individuals are more successful.

#2. Thriving relationships

One of the biggest alcohol-free wins is improved relationships in the office and at home.

This runs in contrast to most people’s limiting belief that their relationships will suffer if they stop drinking. Take it from me, clients appreciate talking to someone on a Friday morning who is on the ball and not hungover, while you will find that tempers are less frayed due to quality sleep and reduced anxiety. Very often a relaxed calm takes over.

#3 Build real lasting confidence

Business, just like sport, is a confidence game. The fake confidence Dutch courage offers actually destroys real-world confidence. The anxiety and nerves induced by alcohol are enough to break the best. Over time you will discover that there is something powerful about dealing with all that life throws at you without the crutch of alcohol. This builds a strong lasting inner confidence that puts Dutch courage to shame.

Over time you will discover that there is something powerful about dealing with all that life throws at you without the crutch of alcohol. This builds a strong lasting inner confidence that puts Dutch courage to shame.

#4 Increase your mental strength

Another stigma that I would love to break is the subject of mental health (perhaps my next mission). Let’s not beat around the bush - alcohol is terrible for your mental wellbeing.

Personally, I would suffer terrible anxiety when hungover; at times it felt like I had fallen into a hole. The bigger the session the deeper this hole. It would take me days to claw my way out. But since I stopped drinking I have never experienced this feeling again.

For me, this was a revelation.

#5 Enhance your physical health

At this stage, many of us know how bad alcohol is for our health. Yet still, we often smooth over the knock-on effects that really do the damage.

Hangovers destroy motivation to exercise and produce a craving for junk food. This produces a triple whammy of poor diet, zero exercise and anxiety.

So a break can help you lose weight and get fitter. It is important to point out that I managed to drop from 30% body fat to 10% and lose 42lbs not just because of the reduction in alcohol-related calories but also because the junk food was replaced with a healthy diet and I had the energy to exercise.

#6 People are bored of the overdone drinks night

Dropping alcohol forces you to get creative with entertainment and in doing so helps build stronger relationships. Clients and work colleagues enjoy and appreciate the originality of events such as yoga, boot camps, go-karting, biking... Come to think of it, how many times has a client sent you an email to say thank you for a wonderful night’s drinking!

#7 Better quality sleep

Sleep is another underrated contributor to peak performance. Even small amounts of alcohol ruin sleep. Alcohol knocks you out, but the quality of sleep is so poor that your body struggles to recover. When combined with a lack of sleep, performance takes a hammering. When alcohol is removed very often the newfound quality of sleep creates a vitality that can lead to a cascade of positive business and life improvements.

The takeaway

If you want to get stuff done, take a break from alcohol. It's that simple.

  • Andy Ramage is the co-founder of oneyearnobeer.com. You can catch Andy LIVE daily on Instagram and Facebook @oneyearnobeer

Having a break from booze and want some extra support? Check out these tools, from the Try Dry app to books and more.

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