Hey everyone, it’s Medicine Mondays again. Today is going to be a short post about shift changes and rhythm and stuff. Let’s talk about the “Day Shift”.
As you guys know, I normally work 2pm-12am, or some variation of that, on an 8 day on, 6 day off, Thursday-Thursday schedule. This works out to 80 hours in any two week time span, but it also means I work every other weekend.
This last shift I’ve been on a “normal” Day Shift, which is 8am-6pm. You would think that working a normal day shift would be great. However, it’s kind of thrown off my rhythm:
My daughter had a hula performance this last weekend, which I can usually make because it’s at noon. However, because I was working days, I wasn’t able to go.
Then, just the waking up at a certain time, even with the same amount of sleep, I still felt tired in the morning. I guess my body is used to not really “getting up” until mid morning. I mean, I’m normally up at 6:30 or so to help my wife get the kids ready for school, but then I go back to sleep afterwards. As such, the morning is usually my “sleep time”.
Also, my commute to work was different. Normally my commute is in the early afternoon so there is very little traffic. Of course, this is much different for a “normal” day shift when I have to get to work by 8am. For this reason, I had to give myself some extra time for my commute.
Then of course, my blog which I normally write posts for the morning of has to be switched to the day before. I’ve definitely noticed that it’s been harder for me to write at night rather than in the late morning.
I guess the long and short of it is that I really am a creature of habit. I don’t think I previously had this many problems switching between shifts. However, because I’ve been doing fewer and fewer day shifts, I guess I’ve become accustomed to the evening shift. Or maybe I’m just getting old.
I think that when you’re young, things like this affect you a lot less. Perhaps when you’re fresh out of residency and fellowship you may feel that you can work some crazy shift forever, as long as there is ample time off and enough $ to make it worth your while. I do remember that during residency that I could finish my night float shift and then drive 5 hours the next morning to see my girlfriend (now wife) without missing a beat. The same drive now after a week of nights is most likely impossible for me… and it hasn’t been that long since residency.
Remember when I told you guys about Choosing Your First Job?
It’s very difficult to know what your priorities will be in the future, but I think it’s a good idea to be cognizant of the future you want to have versus the present situation you’re in.
For example, the me fresh out of fellowship was ready to work two jobs and do anything I could to make more money, pay down my loans, and buy an M5 and a big house and all that. However, you might remember that I didn’t do that. In hindsight, I think it was a good idea that I didn’t push myself to work a second job. I really do enjoy having time with my family as well as having the flexibility to do other things, like write this blog, or learn about other things, like cryptocurrency.
I guess this is my round-about way of reminding everyone that life is too short to be unhappy. After you make a certain amount of money to be comfortable, I would advise you to really value your time to do whatever you want outside of work.
Of course, there will always be people who will want to work two (or more) jobs, but make sure you’re doing it for a reason, like maybe retiring early, or something.
Remember that rich or poor, young or old, time is the great equalizer. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your time.
Switching from evening to days used to be easy, but it’s not as easy anymore.
It’s a good idea to be cognizant of the future you want to have versus the present situation you’re in.
Life is too short to be unhappy.
Time is the great equalizer.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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Great reminder. Appreciate the information about the challenges of being a doctor and working within healthcare, especially the more personal topics such as these reminders, and overcoming difficulties getting into medical school.
The blog provides some great encouragement, as well as reminders.
Hi Will, thank you for your kind words.