Kate's Blog

How Much Time Is Alcohol Stealing From You?

In my part of the world the clocks have just gone back, so yesterday we got a whole extra hour in the day.

I love it when that happens! But it got me thinking about how important time is.

Which made me wonder whether you know how much time alcohol is stealing from your week? I’ve worked out what that number was for me – and it’s mind boggling to think about.

In today’s video, I’ve got an eye-opening exercise to help you calculate this…

Key points

You’ll find the prompts I ask in the video below. Have a go at this exercise, even if you believe you’re a super-efficient drinker who tends to drink whilst doing other stuff. I think you might be surprised by how those hours add up!


– During a typical week, how much time do you spend recovering from drinking? E.g. Hiding in bed because you feel too bad to get up, spending longer on your make up to hide how you feel, or lying on the sofa not doing the things you had planned.

– How much time do you spend putting things right or checking that they are alright? E.g. Trying to sort out an argument you started whilst drinking, trawling through your phone, checking what you posted on Facebook or who you messaged last night.

– How much time do you spend managing your alcohol habit? E.g. Time spent planning when you’ll next drink and battling with yourself. Buying alcohol in different shops, in case someone notices how much you buy. Time spent disposing of empties or arranging taxis because you can’t drive.

– How much time do you spend worrying about your drinking? E.g. Time spent googling for help, reading websites like this one, or overanalysing that offhand comment someone just made about your alcohol consumption? 

– How much time do you spend living life on repeat? E.g. Watching a movie and realising halfway through that you’ve already seen it. Having the same argument with your boss or partner but never doing anything about it. Ruminating on issues but never taking action.

– How much time do you spend each week actually being drunk? Being physically present, but mentally absent? How much of that time can’t you remember at all? How much of it is a kind of drunkenness you wouldn’t want other people to see?

My experience

Personally, I think that when I was drinking, I might have lost an average of one hour a day doing all the things I described above. Some days it was a lot more than that. I’ve been alcohol free for more than 10 years now, so that’s thousands of hours – weeks of my life – that I’ve got back. What about you?

Would you like to quit drinking and reclaim those lost hours? Click here to find out more about my Getting Unstuck course.

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


26 Responses

  1. Thanks, Kate, for the reminder of all the hours I used to lose. I still watch your videos even though thanks to you, I don’t drink anymore. I just wanted to tell you again what a gift you have given to me and to tell you that I still benefit from your wisdom. Letitia

  2. Thank you for your email however thanks to your course I did in January I am no 202 days alcohol free. Your an amazing inspiration. Xx

  3. Thanks Kate, for an inspiring message! Coming up to two days alcohol free! I told you I was dreading the first part of alcohol free days but was happy to see that I had 8 hours of sleep last night with a score of 88 on my Fitbit!

  4. I must waste hours and hours each week. When I’ve been drinking alcohol, I naturally wake up after just a couple of hours sleep with that same horrible sinking feeling! The regret, self hate, feeling terrible, feeling so tired but can’t get back to sleep! I lie there just worrying about it then spend the next day worrying. I then spend the afternoon wondering if it would be so bad if I just had a couple of drinks again that night…… it all starts again, the vicious circle! I just love all of the inspiring comments on here, and I love what Kate does each week. I never fail to listen to her. I am determined to do this once and for all. I’m going to get on track and fight the wine o’clock triggers!
    Thanks again Kate x

    1. You are describing the alcohol trap Sally that many women find themselves in because alcohol is an addictive substance. It’s easy to forget that the very nature of the drug convinces us to have more by creating cravings and blotting out the awful consequences. How about trying something different and take a break from booze for just six weeks to see if you prefer an alcohol-free lifestyle instead? This is the basis for my online course to get you off the merry-go-round of drink, regret, repeat: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  5. Wow this is powerful! I’ve never heard this before! I’m on day 12 AF (missed the start of your October course – too busy drinking! Ah the irony). I’ve just calculated I was losing 46 hours a week, that’s a full time job with overtime! Love this!

    1. It’s quite startling when you think of drinking in terms of hours wasted isn’t it? We only get one life, so allowing something as underwhelming as alcohol to steal so much of it is pointless. If you’re ever tempted to drink, have a listen to my free pep talk to keep you on track: https://thesoberschool.com/pep-talk

  6. Another thoughtful and compelling post about all the good things we receive from an alcohol free life. I took the getting unstuck course in January of 2023 and still enjoying all the new material that you put out each week. I am at 346 days…almost a year! Thanks Kate

    1. Congratulations Kathy, one year coming up fast! The benefits of AF living get bigger and brighter, so keep listening. 🙂

  7. This was such an eye-opener. It is shocking how much time I have wasted in my life I am so glad to be alcohol free for the last three weeks and plan to hopefully forever. I love your pep talks and help me so much.

  8. Since doing the Jan 2023 course, I can’t believe how much my life has changed. I’m so much more productive now that I don’t waste time on alcohol. I even have time to choose to do nothing sometimes – and I enjoy it. Thank you Kate

  9. Great video Kate. The preciousness of relationships, time and our health in our one life.
    If you are considering Kate’s course, go for it. You will not regret it!
    Amanda (Deva)

  10. Omg! I never considered lost time ,buying drink thinking about drink and all the other nasties that come hand in hand with drink…l honestly must have lost at least 21 hours a week orbiting alcohol.Im now into my 12th day of sobriety (have a struggle around tea time as that was my green light)and feeling better already more energy,sleeping better not as anxious ….and being able to watch something in the evening and not have to sneekerly watch it again the next day
    I just want to thankyou kate for awakening the living dead! l really don’t think I could have got this far without your support xx

    1. Keep going Julia, 12 days is great and you’re already saving time and money! Tea time can be tricky sometimes because it’s when we’re probably tired from the day, a little hungry or thirsty too so I suggest you have a drink and a snack and pop your headphones in to listen to my free pep talk: https://thesoberschool.com/pep-talk

    2. That’s exactly the same with me Julia. I’m fine until it gets round to teatime, then it’s as if we ( my Husband and I) have an urge to have a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. As soon as our meal has been eaten and we then sit down for the evening to watch the TV, I’m not bothered at all. I’m quite happy to make a cuppa! It’s that wine o’ clock period that’s the tricky part!

  11. I spend too much time with alcohol. Probably 3 hours every evening. I slowly get around in the morning. I always feel good during the day and then at night I ruin my good energy.

  12. Thanks Katie, just listened to your pep talk made total sense.
    Have wakened with a severe h/o, missing an appointment, I’m scared Katie but I’m going to try, I want to be alcohol free.

  13. Hi Kate. Thankyou for this website. Today is my first sober day. I was about to cave in and say f*** it when I read your posts. This made me realise I actually WANT to be sober…so what stops me.
    I shall take time tonight analysing this instead of getting drunk ! Because as you stated alcohol has taken so much time from me (not just consumption time).
    You have described many aspects of my life without making me feel ashamed today. Thankyou

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