The ramblings of a self-proclaimed call center veteran - on surviving the Philippine Call Center industry.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TIPS ON - SURVIVING THE NIGHT SHIFT



So now you have a schedule were your nights become day, and the million dollar question is -- "how do you live a vampiric life without dying or giving up in the process?"

Here are a few tips that I found to be effective for me.


1)  Set a regular sleeping time


Unless you were sleeping when your grade school teachers taught the topic, you should be aware that we have an internal body clock.  This internal clock defines when we are to sleep or wake-up.  When you get that graveyard schedule of yours, make sure to plan what time you will go to sleep and be sure that you discipline yourself to sleep the same time everyday.  This way, your body clock will adjust accordingly and you will get the 6-8 hour needed shut-eye.

If you often change your sleep schedules, you will find that it will be harder and harder to fall asleep.  Pretty soon, you will get insomnia and you will die early.

2)  Set an appropriate sleeping environment


Try your best to make your daytime rest as conducive as possible.  Since instinct dictates that darkness is equal to sleep, use dark curtains or black trash bags to cover your windows (pero and init nun).  Use eye covers if the room is still too bright (or blindfold yourself with a necktie - but this seems fetish-like).  Buy earplugs (from hardware shops).  Talk to your family members & neighbors and explain your situation as a call center agent, then politely ask them to minimize noise.
**I am not endorsing!  But you can buy earplugs at any hardware store and you can get those sleeping eye covers at Watsons or Tickles stores.**

3)  On your days-off, get as much sleep as you can


You really feel more rested when you sleep at night, so on you day-off I suggest you sleep whenever you can.  Sleep throughout the whole day and sleep throughout the whole night.  Try to minimize (not eliminate) socializing and use your rest days to recuperate.

4)  Use Multivitamins
A graveyard shift made my body weaker and I got fevers and colds easily.  I went to a doctor with my symptoms and he immediately asked if I drank Multivitamins.   He confirmed that this is essential for call center agents.

I then asked if I can buy cheaper generic multivitamins since kuripot ako (4 Pesos a piece).  The doctor said that the generic brands are better than nothing.  So go for generic brands if your budget is tight.  But if you have the cash, then buy all the Centrums, Stresstabs, and Enervons you want.  But just take one capsule a day – you don’t want to destroy your liver and kidneys.

5)  Eat Healthy Foods


As you adjust for the night shift, your body needs all the help it can get.  So If you can’t lessen the protein, then at least add more greens.

6)  Cut down on things that would keep you awake


As you approach your log-out time, make sure you refrain from eating/drinking foods or doing activities that would make you more active.  Avoid, sweets/caffeine/nicotine when you approach the designated sleep time.  Try to relax as you go home and stop thinking about the officemate you would like to murder.  Relax, think nice happy thoughts as you enjoy the sights and smells of Edsa.

Do note that the first months would be hard, but as time goes by, you'll find yourself getting more used to the graveyard schedule.

Feel free to comment and suggest as well.