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15 Things Only People Who Do Shift Work Will Understand

15 Things Only People Who Do Shift Work Will Understand

At one time or another, you’ve probably had to work at a company that provides service 24/7. If you’ve done shift work you know it’s not fun: your schedule changes every week and you can never sleep or eat when you want.

The good thing is, you’re not alone. Millions of people out there are doing shift work, too. No doubt you’re probably reading this at 2 AM—but it’s okay. I feel you!

1. You don’t understand the joy of a weekend

Weekends are rarely a time for celebration as you are usually working the most painfully awkward shift. Instead you have free time when everyone else is busy.

2. You also don’t get that “Friday feeling”

If you do shift work, chances are you’ll have to work on Saturday at 8 AM. So either you go in for your 8-hour shift with a hangover, or you miss out on Friday fun altogether.

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3. You can’t make plans more than a week in advance

Your boss might promise that the rotations will be up at least three weeks in advance, but they never are. Which means every Facebook event you’re invited to has you under “Maybe.” Usually this is the case until the day before when you realize they’ve switched your shift and you can’t go. Yet again. Thanks, shift work!

4. Your friends don’t understand that changing shifts isn’t easy

Oh, you want me to get someone with their first Saturday off in a month to work my 10-hour shift? I don’t think so. You must really not understand shift work. Only a cruel person would do that.

5. You have to wish on a shooting star to escape Christmas Eve

We all know how busy the Christmas period is. But while most companies shut down for the year, if you do shift work you can’t escape it. Shift workers know that even Christmas doesn’t stop you working.

6. Your sleeping pattern is synced with people on the other side of the planet

You’ve forgotten what it’s like to sleep with the rest of your country. No doubt you’ll be online and the only other people awake are on completely opposite sides of the world!

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7. You haven’t seen your friends in months

They’re usually working while you’re sleeping, and you’re working while they’re partying. Your schedules rarely sync up, but when they do it couldn’t be better.

8. You often forget what day of the week it is

Now that your sleeping pattern is ruined you never know what day of the week it is, since you usually start work on a Monday and finish on a Tuesday morning.

9. You get annoyed when people complain about having to wake up before 10 a.m.

You were probably up at three in the morning to start your shift, and in the meantime all your friends are complaining about waking up at 8:30. It’s a mockery really!

10. You always miss family dinners

Everyone else has the weekend to slob around and meet up with the family, but you rarely get to see them. When you do your youngest cousins usually have no idea who you are!

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11. You would be lost without Netflix

This way you can watch something other than the weird shows that are on at three in the morning.

12. You hate when customers tell you to “have a good day”

Isn’t it obvious that you’re spending your whole day standing behind the register? No, sir, you will not have a good day.

13. You never eat meals at a normal time

Eating dinner at 10 p.m. is standard practice. As is breakfast at 4 a.m. and lunch at 9 a.m. Your diet is probably really messed up because of this.

14. You have massive bags under your eyes

That lack of sleep catches up with you somehow and it decided to sit under your eyes for the world to see.

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15. You rarely see your significant other when they’re awake

You’re so used to seeing them tucked up in bed it’s weird to hear their voice and see them active. On the plus side, you don’t miss out on cuddles.

Featured photo credit: Kristina Alexanderson via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

More About Working Smart

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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