0144D: BPO Sleeping Strategies

Mondays are the hardest days for me with respect to work. Beyond the basic fact that everyone hates the end of the weekend and the beginning of another work week, in the call center world the first day after your "weekend" (regardless of the actual days you have off from shift) is always the most difficult. It is primarily because no matter how much self-discipline you have, you will always end up disrupting your sleeping habits over the weekend.

Allow me to explain a bit for my non-BPO readers.

When people ask me how I survive working at night, my most basic answer focuses on the need to re-plot your life and make sure you follow a daily routine that supports your call center work. This means being able to sleep during the day at a relatively consistent time and thus get up at night when you need to. But it's hard to follow that advice during the weekend since most of the more sociable things to do take place during the more normal daytime hours. Case in point, I almost always watch stage plays and musicals during the 03:00pm matinee slot for one reason or another.

Thus all it takes is one daytime commitment to friends, family or whatever and you'll start disrupting your strict week day routine. And thus by Monday it's time to re-orient yourself back on the right sleeping schedule, which is a real pain when you make the mistake of falling asleep Sunday night due to the amazing fun weekend that you just had.

Getting back to your call center schedule is like shifting a large boat around. You need to be able to start the turn early enough and be sure to gun the throttle to full. This means adaptive planning to your situation and being able to commit to what needs to be done.

Thus the alternate plan is similar to how pilots and airline stewards and stewardesses adapt to changing timezones. The best strategy, as I've read in various places, involves a series of short, controlled naps to get you where you need to be. Similarly, I try to nap in the afternoon before Monday despite the fact that I don't exactly feel tired. Maybe you can manage two short 2-3 hour naps

For this to work though, you need to be good at waking up to your alarms in order not to oversleep during any of your adjustment naps. And I'll admit that's where most of my problems lie - the ability to wake up on my own. There are times when I'm great at waking up even before my alarm rings (but not too early if you get my drift). And there are moments when I am just dead to the world no matter how many different alarms I set across multiple devices. Ugh.

And it's even harder when your schedule changes and so you need to adjust even more. And this is going to be one of those weeks indeed given obligations come Wednesday. I am so not looking forward to this. But we do what needs to be done for the job - it pays the bills and helps us get into the hobbies and other activities that makes us happy. And that has to be worth a little sacrifice, right?