Jobs tips

Know When to Stop Drinking Caffeine

How many coffees have you had today? Caffeine is brilliant for keeping us motivated and alert throughout the night. Plus, it’s loaded with health benefits such as reducing our risk of Type 2 Diabetes (2). But if drunk 5 -6 hours before bed, it can have negative effects on your quality of sleep. Why does this happen? Well, coffee can stay in our system for up to 12 hours making sleep almost impossible (for most people) once you get home. Unfortunately, this does include all the things we love:

  • Soda
  • Energy drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Hot chocolate
  • Tea (some herbal teas for caffeine-free) But you’re probably saying to yourself, how do I survive the night shift without coffee? Well, a glass of ice-cold water works a treat for me, but we have a whole list of other beverages you need to give a whirl here that will help you survive. Related post: Night Shift and Caffeine. How To Use It Wisely

Be Sociable Overnight

The relationships built during overnight shifts are pretty special because there is nobody else who truly appreciates how hard some nights can be. There are limited resources and management around to support you, so naturally, you need to work together to get jobs done. This is the part of night shift I enjoy the most; catching up with new and old friends, having a laugh and understanding I am not the only one struggling to stay awake. I understand your work colleagues may not be your “friends of choice” but unfortunately, you can’t be choosy and need to make the best of the situation you’re in. Related post: 7 Essential Night Shift Tips: Making the Impossible a Reality

Don’t Sit Still on Night Shift

One of the absolute keys to working night shift is to keep the blood pumping. Don’t sit still watching the clock – Again, it’s torture Bring in a foam roller and stretch those sore bits (environment permitting), set a timer to get up from your desk every hour or walk the flight of stairs at the office (again, if available). Make sure you limit the time you spend sitting in one place as you will become increasingly tired and less productive as the night goes on. As a nurse, I find restocking medical supplies and calibrating blood sugar machines surprisingly satisfying and works a treat. Find something in your area that always need attention and make that part of your nightly routine. We wrote a post titled, Bored on Night Shift? How to Stay Busy Without the Internet which is full of suggestions if you need some inspiration.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water may seem really basic but is often something I forget about when the shift gets busy. Simply drinking enough water prevents dehydration, lethargy and headaches by keeping your organs happy so they don’t need to work harder than they have to. But how much water should you drink overnight? As a general rule women should be consuming approximately 91 ounces (2.7 liters) of total water and men approximately 125 ounces daily (3.7 liters). If you’re not a big water drinker it could seem like a lot, so why not try adding some mint leaves or lemon juice to your bottle to enhance the flavor? I have the MIRA Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle because it has a nice sized mouth opening (so I don’t spill it!) and colors are pretty, plus it keeps my water cold for the whole shift. See it on Amazon here for a very reasonable price.

Place your drink bottle in a location you can actually see as a constant reminder to drink.  Don’t hide it inside a cupboard or behind a stack of books or paper. 

On our shift work tools page, we explore our favorite tumbler, the BEAST and also our top choice of water bottles, which infuse fruits into the water hassle-free. We also talk a bunch more about the best shift work products we highly suggest. Click the image below to check it out.

Keep the Light on in Your Direct Working Area

It’s tempting to turn off the light when working night shift (environment dependent), but try and resist the temptation. The seemly annoying light stimulus continually tells your body and sleep hormones, like melatonin, to stay awake. Which is what we want… If you’re thinking it’s a mild form of torture you’re absolutely right… (constant light was used as a torture method at Alkatraz in San Fran Cisco for bad prisoners), but it can be very effective in the short term to prevent you from falling asleep on the job. If you want to learn more about melatonin and the role it plays in sleep, take a look at the following posts. This knowledge has totally changed my sleeping routine after a night shift for the better.

  • Melatonin tablet: My Top Tip for Taking Melatonin on Night Shift: Plus 10 More
  • Alarm clocks: 7 Best Alarm Clocks for Night Shift Workers
  • Best practices: 9 Shift Work Best Practices You’re Probably Not Doing

Offer to help

Wherever or however you do it, networking isn't meant to be one-sided. It should provide value for both parties at some point. Look for ways to help your network, and they'll readily want to help you in return. One option is to volunteer. Work for a non-profit group that resonates with you and you'll likely make strong, lasting connections with other volunteers. Another route is to find skill-based volunteer (SBV) opportunities that let you use your professional skills in your volunteer efforts. In all situations, remember to both pay it back and pay it forward when someone has helped you.

Talk To Your Manager

If you’ve already taken the above steps and you’re still looking to advance in your career, the next logical step would be to talk to your manager. The best time to broach career advancement is typically during a performance review. Of course, you would need to have firm evidence backing you up—proof that you should be considered for a higher role. This could be your completion of a certain project, the acquisition of a certificate, or experience under a manager who would recommend you for the role. If it isn’t well-founded however, your boss might assume that you’re being a little presumptuous—which could put your advancement in jeopardy.

Find out which restaurants/stores offer free deliveries

Sometimes merchants offer free deliveries to customers. Why? Perhaps they have just opened the store/restaurant and want to attract customers. If it’s a restaurant, maybe the owners would like to sell all the food instead of throwing it away. Or a national holiday is coming up and this is how they celebrate it. Veteran delivery drivers say Postmates users often choose places with free delivery. Locate these places in the app and/or keep an eye out for ads shared online and offline.

Enjoy the perks

When joining Postmates, don’t forget to enter the referral code that will give you a sign-up bonus. It varies from city to city, maybe from month to month. If you complete 10 deliveries a month, you may become eligible for Postmates PerkSpot. PerkSpot offers you discounts and other benefits at great local and national shops. Through a partnership Postmates has secured with TIKD, you can also get a discount on your first ticket. However, we sincerely hope you will never need it.

Get your hands on some social media software.

If you want to be an online marketer, then there’s a good chance that you’ll need to use a lot of different social media platforms for your job. In many cases, your boss will require you to be active on at least two or three different platforms. If you don’t have that kind of time in your schedule, then it might not be worth taking the job in the first place. Approach your boss with the idea of rolling your social media profile into your job description. If you’re able to do this, then it can save everyone a lot of time and energy.