Shifting Schedules

The hubs recently started a new job with a schedule that coordinates with mine, except it starts 2 hours earlier because he has a 4 day work week. We thought he might be able to find a share-ride option for the mornings and then ride home with me in the afternoons, but there haven’t been any available spots on the vans that go to his shop. So I suggested an alternate arrangement – I’d come in earlier and drop him off before heading to my office for some quite personal time.

Although this requires getting up an hour and a half earlier than I normally would, which is a huge feat for a night owl like me, it’s working out pretty well. Having almost 2 hours of uninterrupted time to write (hence the increase in blog posts) or complete tasks each morning has been far more productive than working on the same things in the evenings at home. Plus, because I’ve already accomplished several tasks before starting my workday, I’m much less stressed throughout the day and can now relax when I get home in the evenings. I also feel more awake when the work day starts, which makes me more productive at work as well.

At first, it was difficult to resist going into ‘work’ mode when I arrive at the office. Because of that, I’ve set a strict rule of not logging into my work email or opening any work files until it’s time to start working. That way I’m not tempted to “just answer that quick email” which leads to another and another and so on.

Another bonus of my earlier arrival is avoiding the morning crowd on the highway. Before the new schedule I would typically arrive at work 30 minutes early because the traffic wasn’t as congested if I left home just a little earlier than I HAD to and it allowed flexibility if there was congestion. And since the hubs drives most mornings it gives me even more time to catch up on email or check things online with my phone. But mostly I enjoy having an extra two hours of time to chat with the hubs, even if it’s just talking through the day-to-day stuff.

Granted, I admit I’m still trying to get my internal clock adjusted and it is a struggle maintaining an appropriate bedtime, but overall I’m really happy I made the change. In fact, when circumstances don’t allow us to drive together I still maintain the schedule and work on things at home instead. You might recall I made a similar schedule change about this time last year and it worked for a while, but without the added motivation of carpooling and saving money it didn’t last more than a month or two. This time I think I’ll stick with it because it works well for both of us, I’m more relaxed overall and my thrifty side is all about spending less on gas. And that’s worth overcoming the desire to ignore the alarm and snuggle back under the covers.

Dog Tired

I’m a night owl by nature.  I detest getting out of bed and require hitting snooze at least twice before doing so.  Given the choice, I’d stay up all night and sleep till noon.  But that’s not feasible with a full-time job, a commute and two side businesses.  Plus I typically feel guilty about wasting half the day when I do sleep in on the weekends, although that’s a rare occasion these days.

The hubs new work schedule is 6 am – 2 pm, which means he’s up at 3 and leaves around 4. After two decades in the military he’s pretty much able to function on any schedule, so this doesn’t seem to bother him much.  He is pretty good about keeping the noise and lights to a minimum when I’m still asleep, but I do still usually wake up at some point during the process.  While that’s not a huge issue, when I go to bed at 10 pm and don’t typically fall asleep until around 11, it does cut into my rest cycle.  And now that I’m in my 30’s my body isn’t as game to function on a measly 5 or 6 hours of sleep anymore.  So I decided to try something new.

For the last week I’ve gone to bed at the same time my hubby does, around 9 pm and get up at 4 am just as he’s leaving for work.  That means I should get around 7 hours of sleep each night.  It also gives me an hour of uninterrupted time each morning to work on my side businesses before getting ready for my full-time gig.

For the most part it’s working well.  There have been a few nights where circumstances had me up a little later than my new self-imposed bed time, and I actually gave up my extra morning time to sleep a little more one day due to this.  But getting up and moving, then putting my brain to work before setting about my normal routine has me feeling more awake and productive during the day.

I think it will take a bit longer for my body to fully adapt to the new schedule.  I’m usually tired when I get home after work, but then I get a second wind an hour or two before bedtime and have the urge to stay up and attack things on my to do list.  Unfortunately, that gets me recharged about the time I’m supposed to be winding down.  I still try to be in bed by 9, although I usually end up surfing the web on my iPad or watching TV to relax before actually falling asleep around 10.  And that means I’m back to my 6 hour sleep pattern, so I’ll need to be more diligent in starting the wind down process a little earlier.

Or maybe I just need to take a page from my hubby’s book and nap when I get home each evening since that apparently works for him and Stoli.


Granted, his job is much more physical than mine, but I still feel “dog tired” and wish I could just kick back and catch a few winks.  Unfortunately, my brain just won’t let me until at least a good chunk of my to-dos are done.  And if I try to ignore those tasks I just lay there thinking about when I’ll do them, so I might as well just get it done. The hubs calls that “being an over-achiever.”  I just call it being me. 🙂