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  • jmn
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    • April 22, 2012, 10:55:38 pm
Coping physically with split shifts
« on: August 01, 2012, 04:20:35 pm »
I'll be taking a job with split shifts, and I'd like to know how those who already do them cope physically.

Take a nap in the middle of the day? Lots of exercise? Energy drinks? Coffee? Supplements?

Any tips welcome.


Re: Coping physically with split shifts
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 05:41:44 pm »
Hey man, former 3 part time jobber a day here, maybe I can help a little.

How are your shifts cut up?


  • jmn
  • Waygookin

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    • April 22, 2012, 10:55:38 pm
Re: Coping physically with split shifts
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2012, 06:18:57 pm »
Hey man, former 3 part time jobber a day here, maybe I can help a little.

How are your shifts cut up?

Hey, roughly 6.30am-11am and then 6pm-10pm

how were yours?


  • JahRhythm
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Re: Coping physically with split shifts
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2012, 06:44:45 pm »
Curious what the incentives were that compelled you to accept a job that will dominate your very existence??
Hope you got some serious vacation time.
We teach EFL not ESL. Hagwon and "Private School" are not synonymous. Not everyone works in either a hagwon or public school. Immigration Question? Call 1345.


  • jmn
  • Waygookin

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    • April 22, 2012, 10:55:38 pm
Re: Coping physically with split shifts
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 07:23:19 pm »
Curious what the incentives were that compelled you to accept a job that will dominate your very existence??
Hope you got some serious vacation time.

I only wanted to teach adults, and to develop a network for a long term career in the country...willing to sacrifice myself for 1 or 2 years for that

(did I mention I'll work most saturdays too...)


Re: Coping physically with split shifts
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 08:20:59 pm »
*side bar* wow jah, you're a mod now? Congrats, I feel like that was a good choice for the board.

6.30am-11am and then 6pm-10pm

I worked at a cafe from 7-1, then at an after school program from 2:00-5:30, then I bar backed from 7:00~12:00. Managed about 6ish hours of sleep a night. I rode my bike everywhere, from job to job and just for fun. I never worked weekends; if a number that I suspected was from someone at any one of those jobs called Saturday or Sunday, I just didn't pick up.

My advice would be to eat medium sized meals often, it'll keep your metabolism steady and it'll keep you awake and focused. I got this tip from a friend of mine who wrestled in college and is now a body builder, he touted the "food is fuel" mantra. I didn't really take stock of what it was exactly that I was eating, just that I was making my way around the food pyramid and that none of it was frozen garbage or ramen, you know? So if one small meal was a bunch of nuts and some chocolate, in a couple hours I'd make sure to eat some fruit and bread, then later a protein shake, then later something good and fatty, etc.

Sometimes power naps would kill me for the rest of the day, sometimes they'd turn me into Superman - that's just the way it was. Mostly though, I would try to stay up and moving. If I didn't feel like walking around or reading, I'd at least try to stay outside and people watch or stretch.

I made a point not to go overboard on caffeine and Red Bull. A cup in the morning, then one between the cafe and the after school, and if I really needed it, a small one before the bar backing shift - even then I'd rarely finish the whole thing.

7 hours between shifts is pretty different from what I was doing, though. I'm not sure how much my experience you'll be able to relate to and use. I'll leave you with this one - keep your brain balanced. I had a lot of friends who worked CRAZY shifts (EMTS, a comic shop employee, assistants, newbies in newsrooms, graphic designers, vet techs), if I learned one thing above all, it's that you have to stay balanced. It's totally all right and completely acceptable and par for the course to just blow up and say, "**** these shifts" or "This sucks" but just remember to live with the fact that it was a choice YOU made and it really isn't so bad. Don't lie to yourself and try to shoot rainbows out of your butt, but think, "Let's grind it out and get to some sweet relaxin'."


  • jmn
  • Waygookin

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    • April 22, 2012, 10:55:38 pm
Re: Coping physically with split shifts
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 08:31:45 pm »
Thanks for that, very useful advice

Actually the meals were one of my concerns. The morning shift incorporates 'normal' breakfast time and the evening shift goes straight through 'normal' dinner time. Nothing makes me moody like being hungry...so maybe I'll have to eat 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day


  • JahRhythm
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Re: Coping physically with split shifts
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2012, 09:07:45 pm »
@loswillyams- haha thanks, yeah bit of a surprise but I wasn't going to turn down an invite from the top! Happy to chip in. Though feeling like I'll have to bite my tongue a bit now. Ah well, for the best I suppose.

OP-good to have a plan. Just hope that bear of a grind doesn't catch up with you. Might be annoying to fit exercise into that schedule, but that's a must.
Hey, hard work..character, etc.
Best of luck.
We teach EFL not ESL. Hagwon and "Private School" are not synonymous. Not everyone works in either a hagwon or public school. Immigration Question? Call 1345.


  • JeremyC
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    • July 15, 2012, 03:48:16 pm
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Re: Coping physically with split shifts
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2012, 09:21:45 pm »
Hey man, former 3 part time jobber a day here, maybe I can help a little.

How are your shifts cut up?

Hey, roughly 6.30am-11am and then 6pm-10pm

how were yours?

Ouch. Well, you're right about breakfast and dinner, in that you won't be able to have proper meals. But you can surely still graze through those periods; take in a banana, nuts, a sandwich, doughnut, an apple etc? I worked split shifts; 9 - 1 and 4 to 9. I found 3 hours break enough for lunch and a little time to get bored but that was it. I ate a meal in the evenings but still my days were taken up with work and only work. You'll get 7 hours to do chores, catch up with friends at lunch, shop for supplies, exercise etc. It could be worse.
It's nice to be important but more important to be nice.