Dry January: 5 Ways the Month of Sobriety Improves Your Productivity

Alcohol has always had staggering effects on businesses: studies have shown that, in the UK alone, 30% of consumers deal with work stress by drinking, totaling a massive 7.3bn being lost per year due to alcohol-related unproductivity in the workplace.

So, each year more and more of us are deciding to go dry for January. After Christmas celebrations, the excuse not to drink is welcomed with open arms. The first dry week back at work is completed with enthusiasm, spurred on by the pride of telling all of your still ‘wet’ colleagues “Yes, I am doing Dry January” and declaring “It’s easy, I don’t even miss the alcohol!”

Yet, as the days go on, (non-alcoholic) spirits drop and the desire for post-work (alcoholic) spirits return. Despite the increasing variety of alcohol-free tipples out there and #DryJanuary trending on social media, a large number crack every year. For those needing some more motivation at this half-way point, or considering joining in now, here are 5 ways Dry January will make you more productive in the workplace.

  1. You get better sleep, and more of it

Although alcohol may make you fall asleep quicker, your best quality night’s sleep is undoubtedly a sober one. Going to work consistently well rested and recharged will give you a clearer mind for the day’s work ahead, allowing you to harness ideas better and get your creative juices flowing.

2. Feel energized for the whole day

Instead of the sluggish and groggy mornings relying on countless cups of coffee, the teetotal lifestyle will not only make early mornings easier, but give you energy for the entire working day. With this energetic motivation, your 4pm slump will turn into a productive last push and you can bounce into meetings with a renewed sense of productivity.

3. Better brain, better mind

The deadlines you were struggling to meet will become a thing of the past. Having little to no alcohol in your system will sharpen your memory and improve your concentration levels, allowing you to work better, for longer. The benefits don’t stop there: with no alcohol interfering with the brain’s processes, your judgement and decision making abilities soar, making prioritisation and planning a walk in the park.

4. More time for your body

No alcohol means no hungover, slovenly mornings. Combine this with your new-found energy, and you have opened up more opportunities for you to give back to your body during the week. Swap your midweek cocktails for fresh fruit smoothies, your Friday night work drinks for a restorative group yoga class and your bleary eyed, lazy Saturday mornings for an invigorating walk. Taking time out of your busy schedule will reduce stress and rebuild your immunity and strength for the next working week.

5. Now you’ve done this, you can do anything

Whether we like to admit it or not, giving up alcohol for a whole month takes a lot of willpower. Once you have proved to yourself that you can overcome challenges such as this, you can harness this resilience and determination and put it to good use in other projects.

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