Handling Jobs Requiring Long Hours

Jobs with long hours need some management and personal organization. They're tough when you start, and you need to build up some stamina to live with them. 'Long hours' can include long commutes, and these jobs have some basic issues you need to know how to handle.

The long hours

You will acclimatize to a job requiring long hours quickly if you create a good routine and stick to it. This is like sports training; you adjust and become much less tired doing the routine.

The fundamentals of a good routine are simple:

  • Always eat and sleep at regular hours.
  • Do everything in your routine normally, not at emergency speeds, which can wear you out immediately.
  • Don't add demanding extra things or sudden changes to your daily routine if you can avoid it.
  • Take the proper rest breaks on the job when you can.

Even your diet can affect you when working long hours:

  • Remember to drink at least a couple of glasses of water to remain properly hydrated. Loss of water makes fatigue a lot worse.
  • Eat protein, for energy, not junk food, which has minimal actual nourishment. You can wear yourself down, rapidly, without enough food.

Don'ts in jobs with long hours

All the 'Don'ts' in this case are very serious:

  • Don't over exert yourself to the point of exhaustion. Recovery takes time, and when you're still on the job, you may not get that time.
  • Don't skip breaks. You need these breaks to recharge. Even if you're busy, make sure to take them later.
  • Don't be Superman. Be realistic about your workloads. Do things efficiently, rather than dramatically, and the job will be much easier.
  • Don't ignore headaches, pains, or other things that say you're overdoing it. If you allow recurring injuries or symptoms to aggravate themselves, you can create real problems.
  • Don't ever attempt to do long hours when you're sick. You can really suffer, and so can your work.

Commuting issues

Long commutes and conflicts with domestic routines are other features of some jobs requiring long hours. Be realistic about these issues. They can create impossible situations, and cost you your job if you can't make them manageable. Some of the situations, like having to be at work while getting the kids to school, really are impossible. The stress involved can be a problem, too, so try to settle any conflicts before they arise.

Commuting is often a problem in itself. Sometimes it's a dangerous problem. Tired people can really get put through a terrible ordeal, driving when too tired to respond quickly enough to traffic situations. The combination of driving and long hours can be lethal. If feasible, a long commute is better avoided altogether. Find an alternative. If public transportation won't work, try car pooling or some other arrangement where you don't have to drive as often.

You'll find that after a week or so, you will be adapting pretty well. The comfort zone in these jobs has to be created out of your daily routine.