Conventional Living on an Unconventional Schedule

17 Mar, 2015 |


Working graveyard shifts or inconsistent schedules can be strenuous for a variety of reasons. For one, working during darkness can often throw off your internal clock which tells you that you should be sleeping when the sun goes down. It can also be difficult to maintain a social life when schedules change and conflict.

Whatever the reason may be, though, this is your life or the life of someone you know. It may not be ideal, but it is manageable. In fact, it’s possible to not only survive in this topsy-turvy schedule but to thrive in it as well. The proof is in this diagram on called “The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People.” It features the sleep, work, food/leisure and exercise schedules of notable people such as Benjamin Franklin, Sigmund Freud and Pablo Picasso. While Maya Angelou only ate at dinner time, Franz Kafka slept from 6-8:30 a.m. and then again from 3-7:30 p.m. If these lifestyles worked for them, it can work for you too.

Here are a few tips on how to lead a conventional life on an unconventional schedule:

  1. Develop a routine and stick to it, no matter what time of day you are active. Japanese writer Haruki Murakami said, “I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”
  2. Sleep when you can. If you can get eight hours of sleep in one chunk of time, great. If not, try sleeping in increments of a few hours.
  3. Don’t cut corners on meals or exercise. You may not feel like preparing a full meal or going to the gym when the rest of the world sleeps, but your health depends on it.
  4. Consume plenty of water while you’re active. If your schedule is inconsistent, you may forget to hydrate, which can affect your energy level. Drink up.
  5. Make time for productive leisure or entertainment. Don’t limit yourself to watching TV or getting on the internet when you get off work. Have a go-to hobby while you wait for friends and family to be available.
  6. Change your surroundings. If the sun is still out when it’s your bedtime, make your room as dark as possible. Invest in ear plugs or dark drapes. Listen to lively energetic music and brighten your work space with lamps during your “day.”
  7. Embrace your quirky schedule. Find ways to take advantage of the fact that your routine is different from others. Go for a bike ride when the roads are cleared. Go grocery shopping without the crowds. Get a cheaper rate by seeing an early movie. Find the perks!

Finding Normalcy in an Uncoventional Schedule

An unconventional schedule can seem chaotic when compared to a typical day schedule. But chances are you won’t always operate in this routine. In the meantime, you can learn how to make the most of it and maybe even enjoy it. It will always be more manageable when you can stay on top of your shift schedule ahead time. While that may not always be an option, you can always count on software to help you. If you are looking for a software solution that won’t break the bank, check out our free trial here.