Organization

How to Thrive with an Irregular Work Schedule

Hi everyone!!

Hows it going?? I would love to see some comments about your lives, days, dreams, aspirations, or goals! And I’d love to do anything I can to help! If you guys want to hear anything specific from me also please let me know!! I want to get to know you guys!!

Today I’ll be writing about something that has been on my mind lately. You see posts all the time about creating routines and the ideal life… but what if your schedule is extremely irregular, and theres nothing you can do about it? I’m a retail manager by profession which is never any kind of routine. I work long days, short days, early mornings, late nights, even overnights!! I’ve also been on long stretches without days off and weird “weekends” in the middle of the week. I’ve seen it all in terms of irregularity! Its not just my industry, though! There are a ton of jobs out there with this kind of lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be all bad, though! If you embrace it, it can actually work to your advantage!

And through this job, I’ve learned a lot about staying sane, and making sure that I hold onto any sense of normal I can, because if you don’t think it through and keep plans in place, an irregular schedule can eat you alive!! And this doesn’t just go for people with jobs like me, but can also apply to parents, students, people with side hustles, or even business owners!! When you have an irregular schedule, it can be easy to let it take over your life. but you don’t have to let it! I’ve gotten pretty good at it, so let me tell you what I’ve learned!

My schedule is irregular AF! Help!!

When I first started my job, I knew that this is how it would be in theory, but nothing can fully prepare you for this! When I started working, I found myself exhausted all the time and never seeing any of my friends (because I was exhausted all the time!) What can you do??!!

1. Identify Any Routine You Can, and Stick To It Religiously!!!

I never realized how important this was until I tried it. I wrote down a list of things I wanted to do everyday, whether it was in the morning, evening, or during the day. My list included yoga, at least one good meal, prayer, some kind of treat, and tidying up the house.

This helps because even though forming a routine is somewhat impossible, it helps you have some kind of structure in your life. Also, the magic of a good life is really found in the things that you do everyday, even if its not always at the same time! Try to give yourself a list to make your days seem complete (and to make sure that you’re still doing everything you need to, even though you’re tired AF.

Your list can include anything: netflix, playing with the dog, talking to your mom, running, gardening, stretching, cooking, etc. But, try to include at least one item of self care, one chore, and one thing that is completely for your own enjoyment. This way you’re still getting some of each of those with regularity.

2. Get enough sleep!!! (But not too much!)

It can be hard to sleep enough when your schedule is irregular (especially if it includes early mornings and/or late nights!) And sometimes it can be easy to sleep too much (its hard to feel well rested if your sleeping schedule isn’t a “schedule” per se). So, figure out what that “magic” amount of sleep is for you (for me its 7.5 hours) and stick to it, even though you may be going to bed earlier than you want, or waking up late or early. At least give your body that!

**Special warning to MAKE SURE YOU ARENT SLEEPING TOO MUCH!! This will keep you out of the sleep-work vortex that you can so easily get caught up in where that seems like its all you do because you’re so tired. It can leave you feeling unfulfilled, lonely, and still tired. Been there, done that, 0/10 would not suggest.

3. Have a hobby or something you enjoy doing!

Bonus points if its a productive hobby like working out, reading, writing, etc. BUT it doesn’t have to be!! You just need to have something in your life thats enjoyable and can occupy your brain so that you’re not always thinking about work and sleep (See: sleep-work vortex). Try to avoid having it be Netflix, though! Maybe something that takes creativity at some level!! 🙂

4. Work-life balance

DO NOT. I repeat, DO NOT stay at work longer than you need to. Its a lot easier to let the time get away with you when you don’t have a normal routine of go to work, work, and then come home at a certain time every day. Set a goal for your workday, accomplish it in a reasonable amount of time, and then wrap it up so that you can do something non work related. Your work will actually benefit from your overall happiness, well-restedness, and balance. You cant let yourself burn out!!

5. Let yourself FULLY enjoy any time off!

Whether its a full day off, or just a morning off, enjoy it!! On your mornings off, treat yourself to a nice breakfast. Or if you have a full day off, let yourself veg out for a bit and chill! DONT check your work email from home, don’t stress, you’ve earned the time off so fully and completely enjoy it. (Not an excuse to sleep all day.. see: work-sleep vortex)

6. Stay Organized

If you don’t have a planner, get one!! As a busy work from home-er, business owner, student, mom, etc you need a planner more than most! Get a good one and write down everything important!! It takes some weight off your mind when you aren’t trying to remember everything thats bouncing around your head, and it will help to have everything in one place. It provides clarity when thinking about your life, and once you go to the planner life its impossible to go back! Plus, having everything written down and planned out in advance will help you fell in control and less stressed. There really is no downside!

Another aspect of staying organized is keeping your space organized. Theres nothing worse than coming home from a late shift to a messy house, and theres nothing worse than trying to clean up a mountain of clutter when you’re tired. So, don’t make it any harder than it needs to be, and just stay on top of your organization. You’ll thank me later.

Practice!!

A lot of these tips are still broad enough that you need to figure out what works for you in your specific situation. And, as much as I hate to say it, the only way to figure out your specifics is trial and error. Living with an irregular schedule can be exhausting, but there are tons of benefits too!! I bet your friends with 9-5 jobs aren’t getting to go to the grocery store when its empty, or are getting to avoid lines at the DMV :).

In the end, if you’re passionate about your irregular AF job, then it is all worth the craziness, because you love the journey!! So thats the number one thing you can do to make it bearable!! I believe in you, and I know you can make this work!! Dont give up!!

Need any more tips? Feel free to comment down below! Always happy to help 🙂

Related posts: What to do When You Feel Like Giving Up

2 Comments

  • Blessing Ball

    Man! This is what I needed to read. I shared it on pinterest. I even took notes. My favorite part about this is number one – identify stuff you want to accomplish daily. I thrive on routine and having a little one and trying to grow my business has had things in flex a lot lately. I think if I can create a list of daily things I want to accomplish it will really help my state of mind.

    Keep up the quality blogs! xoxo

    • lifeofria

      Thank you so much I appreciate your support!! 🙂 I love your sites too! If theres anything you want to see me write more about let me know for sure!!!

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