Shift work is tiring – Toughen up or quit!

As I noted in previous posts, I have only recently started to work shift work. For the 30+ years prior, I have primarily worked Monday to Friday, 9 to 5.

On the whole, I have really enjoyed the transition to shift work. It allows me a lot more freedom during the day to do the things I need to do and want to do. With evening or night shifts, I also don’t have to set an alarm and just wake up organically. As it is, I usually wake up much the same time anyway but better rested than I would normally with the dreaded alarm in my subconscious.

However, I do struggle with the morning shifts. Mornings are the preference for many as it allows them to get the work day out of the way and enjoy the day. For me, I always find myself too weary to really be that productive at the end of the work day as I find it difficult to get good quality sleep when going to bed at 7PM. And when I get home, I’m almost counting the hours until I need to head to bed early again. I just find I prefer the evening shifts that finish between 7PM to 2AM.

Today though, I am struggling a bit. The last 4 nights I have finished at either 1AM or 2AM. Today, I am facing a 10 hour shift and finishing at 12:30AM. I’m sure a lot of people would find this a cruise and work 7 days a week for months (or even years) on end without flinching. Many again work 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet. For me, I think my physiology has just got used to the routine of 9-5 work and I’m physically struggling some days.

What I have to remember when I feel a bit flat is that I have a compelling goal. Early retirement to a place that brings me happiness! Shift work is providing me penalty work and overtime. While it would nice to have weekends off to socialise like a ‘normal’ person, I currently have the ability to perform relatively stress free work and without any formal qualifications and make a very reasonable hourly rate of pay, particularly on weekends on public holidays. (I will note that the background of the blog pic is how it looks outside today. Sooo nice. Tempting to stay home…but no!)

Every hour today is making that little bit extra coin that I can contribute towards making my dream reality. So, enough whinging about being tired and suck it up. The light at the end of the tunnel is where I can relax and rest.

 

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