How To Stay Productive With An Irregular Schedule

Have an irregular schedule that’s all over the place? As far as I’m concerned, you’re a hero.

It’s not a secret that folks who work irregular or unpredictable schedules have to work thrice as hard to stay productive and achieve their career goals. If you’re one of them, you know that this challenge might be overwhelming.

But hey, you’re here, on the mission to make a difference for both career and personal life. That’s a step in the right direction! Let me help you with getting there faster.

In this post, you won’t find any super-secret techniques or hacks that sound great but never work in real life. Only four tried-and-true ways to maintain productivity and reduce stress at work.

Let’s begin.

1. Physical Health: Try Sleep Anchoring to Feel Better

Physical Health: Try Sleep Anchoring to Feel Better

Source: Unsplash

Do you work night or other non-traditional shifts?

If you do, well, I don’t have to tell how hard it could be to get quality sleep. But I should share that you should try sleep anchoring.

Sleep anchoring is a technique of creating a proactive sleep schedule to plan sleep opportunities. You need to designate three to four hours for “anchor sleep” that will remain constant every day.

By sleeping for those several hours constantly every day, you’ll make your circadian rhythms “anchored” to a specific schedule. As a result, your body will adjust faster and your body will feel better overall.

The evidence of the effectiveness is also there. Studies have shown that sleep anchoring helps to synchronize circadian rhythms for people working irregular schedules.

Pro tip: Feel unproductive after a bad night’s sleep? Try this free daily schedule template to organize your day after not getting enough sleep.

2. Workload Optimization: Use a Personalized Planner to Organize Your Tasks

Okay, let me get something clear right away.

Here, we’re not gonna talk about simple task planners that are basically sheets of paper with “Tasks for Today” on it. Planners like those are not going to cut it.

That why we need to go for something that’s far more personalized, organized, and even motivational.

Office Hero Planner (shown in the image above) is a next-generation planning tool that can help you stay more organized.

If you work an irregular schedule, here’s how you can use it:

There’s great stuff from people like Warren Buffett, John C. Maxwell, and Gary Vaynerchuk
Each page has a special section for them
There’s a scale from one to ten to assess each of those so you can keep track of your workload
This is called gratitude practice, which is a great technique to make a positive outlook on life a daily habit. Besides, giving thanks has been scientifically proven to lower stress and improve the quality of sleep
Schedule tasks by writing them down to give yourself a better idea of how to plan your day more effectively

Not only the planner helps with keeping everything in track, but you can also learn some awesome habits like intentional gratitude.

One great benefit of Office Hero Planner is that you can make it really yours.

Adam Wright, a lifestyle writer at GrabMyEssay, agrees: “By writing down your personal distractions and how you feel by the end of the day, you’ll be more mindful of your limits and potential productivity issues.”

Ultimately, keeping these records will help to become a better time manager.

Need more options to compare? Here are 11 best productivity planners 2020 for improving focus and building healthy habits.

Bonus: “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” Do you find motivational quotes inspiring? Copy these 143 motivation quotes for work to keep yourself going.

3. Physical Health: Learn How to Eat Right

Physical Health: Learn How to Eat Right

Source: Unsplash

Irregular schedules often keep people confused about how they should eat. For example, they often skip meals, which is a terrible idea that increases fatigue and reduces productivity.

Here are some tips on how to eat right:

If your schedule has you waking up at 8 pm, that’s your morning. So time for breakfast is then
Eat all means for every day within 24 hours, starting at 12:01 am
“This means eating like you normally would for the first 12 hours and then taking a break for at least 4 hours,” shares Dana Gaspar, a health writer at TrustMyPaper. “If you’re still asleep after that, you can have one more meal. But after that, go. to. sleep.”

Also, get rid of junk food if you want to be productive. Seriously.

Chips, cookies, and fast food won’t nourish you well enough so your body will feel awful. Better go for protein-rich options like nuts, yogurt, and fruit.

4. Productive Environment: Learn How to Say No

Source: Unsplash

Helping others is something that I strongly encourage you to do. But, if it means totally ruining your schedule and having you work for more hours – then you must politely say no.

Not sure how to do it? Try these as advised by BestEsayEducation’s: Devin Lee, a conflict management expert:

The manner in which you say the phrase is also important. Try to be confident and don’t show any sign of reluctance.

You can avoid many of these conversations by a wireless USB availability indicator on your desk. By switching it to red light, you can let everybody know that you’re busy and need to focus. When you become available again, just switch to the green light.

The Bottom Line

Working an irregular schedule is hard, but you can avoid a lot of negative effects by trying these tried-and-tested ways. Hopefully, some of them will be useful to not allow the non-standard work hours to keep from you from being productive and achieving career goals.

Do you want to build and maintain new habits? Get your free PDF version of the Don't Break The Chain calendar and start today!

Do you want to build and maintain new habits? Get your free PDF version of the Don't Break The Chain calendar and start today!

BIO

Erica Sunarjo is a writer and blogger of all things related to marketing and customer experience. She is a frequent contributor to TopEssayWritingSupreme Dissertations, writing services, as well as blogs and forums related to digital marketing. When not researching and writing, Erica is engaged in her favorite avocation – playing the keyboard for a local band.  

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