Whether you’re an expert planner or more of a go-with-the-flow person, time management can be a lifesaver and lower your risk of developing problem gambling behaviors. While it may sound like a chore, exercising good time management can help you make the most out of your day. Keep reading to learn more about simple time management strategies and how to practice responsible gambling behaviors to keep your life on track and on schedule.
Time Management Tips
Not enough time in the day? Too much time on your hands? Either way, planning your schedule and setting aside time to decompress and time to work on your recovery skills can help you maintain a healthy balance. In fact, managing your time well is a key component to responsible gambling. Sometimes when gambling people can feel disconnected from reality and lose track of time. However, when people designate times to take breaks and stick to them, this can help players reconnect to reality and gain control of their emotions, since placing bets can create a release of dopamine in the brain and give participants a type of “high” that can cloud judgement.
If you choose to limit or restrict your gambling, whether it’s limiting time spent, how much money is wagered or otherwise, it is essential to make a plan and stick with it. A good way to keep time spent gambling down is to invest your time in other activities, including:
- Structuring time every day so there is no “free” time
- Staying in the moment being mindful of what you are doing
- Spending time with friends and family who are supportive
- Attending support group meetings
- Reading the self-help recovery workbooks – available when contacting 888-ADMIT-IT
- Reviewing online videos – available through 888-ADMIT-IT
Many people who gamble believe they don’t need to take breaks, but the more that time restraints are ignored, the more dangerous gambling can become. A good practice is to take charge of your schedule by writing things down you plan to do that day to reflect where there may be free time. For problem gamblers, free time can be dangerous, so again, structuring your time is essential.
Responsible Gambling Practices
Managing time better is a great first step to responsible gambling, but there are plenty of other positive approaches to implement, which may include:
- Not gambling when upset, stressed, tired, or distracted
- Never gambling while under the influence
- Not gambling with money earmarked for essentials
- Not chasing losses
It’s Always the Right Time for Recovery
In life, everything comes down to right timing, and when problem gambling is involved, the sooner those at risk and their loved ones find the help and hope they need, the better. Recovery begins with Your One Sure Thing, the 24/7, multilingual, and confidential Problem Gambling HelpLine, 888-ADMIT-IT. Here, people experiencing gambling difficulties and those close to them can find the resources needed to take their first steps in recovery— and remember, it’s never too late or too early to get help.