4 Productivity Tips for Those Working Night Shifts

Many people, and especially those from younger generations, identify as night owls. But what does it mean to be one exactly? Well, simply put, a night owl is a person who operates better at night. These people are most active when darkness falls over the world and the moon rises in the skies to watch over those who are already sleeping.

How to Stay Productive
To sum it up, when most of us fall asleep, night owls are just beginning to feel productive and motivated to do their tasks. But while this might be easier when you’re in high school or college, working the night shift is a totally different situation. Fortunately, you can still manage to stay productive by enforcing a few small, yet far-reaching changes in your life.

1.    Follow a Sleep Schedule

For most people, the hardest part is getting through the first week on the night shift without falling asleep on the job or feeling miserable. This is why starting to follow an adequate sleep schedule a few days before you begin is a great way to set the appropriate pattern and regulate your biological clock.

Let’s say that the transition takes place next Monday. The ideal moment to get into your new schedule will thus be on the weekend before, starting as early as Friday. Carefully calculate when you should go to sleep and when you should wake up as you would during work days.
Depending on the actual hours you go to work in, you will need to tailor your approach. For some companies, the last shift ends at 2 or 3 a.m., while others will keep you there until 7 in the morning. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of good sleep during the day to maintain your health and energy.

2.    Eat Healthy Meals

The later it gets in the day, the less quality food you can find in your general area. Most restaurants close their doors around 11 p.m., which means that all you’re left with is drive-through fast food or supermarket junk food if there is one nearby. This makes eating proper meals at work almost impossible.

Fortunately, there is an easy way around this, namely doing your own meal prep at home beforehand. Healthy and organic foods are the most appropriate choice because they nourish you and promote your well-being at the same time. You will also save a lot of money by doing this, so it’s a win-win situation.

You also need to ensure that you eat your meals at regular intervals, just like you would during the day. This regulates your digestion and prevents you from getting sick. And finally, when it gets closer to your bedtime, stick to foods that are lighter and easier to digest. Daytime sleep is notoriously less restful, so you need to make it as good as you can by any means possible.

3.    Use Light Sources Wisely

When the sun begins to set in the evening and darkness takes over, your brain starts producing melatonin, a little hormone which lets your bodily functions know that it will soon be time for bed. Thus, you start feeling sleepy and eventually fall into deep slumber. But for those on the night shift, it can be a huge problem.

Not only will this lead you to feel tired when you should be working, but it will also make it harder for you to fall asleep in the morning when you come back home. This is why you need to use artificial lighting to your advantage.

On the one hand, you will want light up your office properly with high-quality bulbs that emulate sunlight. But on the other hand, you need to install heavy-duty blinds that completely block out the sun in your bedroom. This will feel out of place at first, but as soon as your biological clock will adjust, so will you.

4.    Talk to Other Colleagues

Although socialization will seem out of place at such odd hours, having people around you that are also on shift is a good opportunity to stimulate your productivity. Together, you and your colleagues can keep each other sharp and awake, and you can also bond over the situation. And if they’ve been at it for longer, they can also offer you valuable pieces of advice on how to cope.

Final Thoughts

Working the night shift might seem impossible at first, but once you get used to it, you might enjoy the experience. By paying a little more attention to the quality of your sleep and diet, as well as how you use light, you will become productive in no time at all. And if all else fails, you know that you can always rely on your co-workers for help.

About Author: Alex Moore is a psychology graduate with an interest in unusual business practices that promote productivity. When he’s not out researching the best strategies for workers of all kind, you’ll usually find him contributing to www.jobapplicationcenter.com .

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