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How do I plan my schedule around my day job?


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As my day job, I'm a fire alarm tester. I work around 40 hours a week, sometimes a little more. On paper, our time at job sites is 8 am to 4 pm, sometimes we start earlier. That doesn't take into account for travel time (usually 45 minutes to an hour) and sometimes we finish early or stay later and this depends entirely on the location and how much stuff we have there to test. My question, how am I supposed to plan around my day job if I can't predict what time I'll be home in the evening? How do you do it?

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Everyone has jobs that sometimes run a little late and no one can perfectly forecast the evening commute.  That's altogether normal.  Your schedule is actually a lot more consistent than many people's.  You aren't on call.  You aren't on contract.  You aren't on sales commission.  You aren't changing shifts on a weekly basis.  You aren't raising kids (are you?)  You've got it pretty good, actually.

 

What exactly are you trying to plan?  If you're plotting workouts, just do them before work or when you get home.  If you want to sign up for a class or team, pick one that starts at 6 am or after 7 pm.  Plan for the maximum commute time so you'll always have a safety margin, and then you have free time if you get home earlier.

 

And on weekends you've still got time to do whatever you want.

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That's true, thanks. I haven't had any trouble with getting to the gym lately, I usually just go straight from work regardless of when I get home. I have recently been looking into taking some classes to help hone my art and design skills and was afraid my day job would conflict with it. Because that's what I really want to do with my life, the industry I'm in now is most definitely not for me. I've been thinking of maybe going back to part-time there so that I could focus more on progressing my art, building a portfolio, etc.

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That's true, thanks. I haven't had any trouble with getting to the gym lately, I usually just go straight from work regardless of when I get home. I have recently been looking into taking some classes to help hone my art and design skills and was afraid my day job would conflict with it. Because that's what I really want to do with my life, the industry I'm in now is most definitely not for me. I've been thinking of maybe going back to part-time there so that I could focus more on progressing my art, building a portfolio, etc.

 

If I were you, I'd keep the day job while building your art portfolio.  Do not cut back your work hours, instead keep working and save money.  If you need to change what TIME you work, find a job that is on a different shift, but don't drop out of the job market.

 

A 40-hour work week (even 45 or 50 with commute and overtime) is not that bad and leaves you 6-8 hours of wake time per day (plus 8 hours of sleeping), plus 32 hours on weekends, to do whatever you want.  It's simply a question of priorities.  Having more free time will not magically make you a better artist or motivate you to do more art.  Take it from a creative woman who's been unemployed for 14 months.  I've had a lot of fun and grown up a great deal, but I've got no new art to show for it, and meanwhile my savings are depleted and I'm a year older.  It's not the end of the world, but a year of lost income is a pity, particularly when you're young and that income could have gone into a stock fund to accrue gains for the next three decades.

 

Just do your job and focus on art in your free time.  Do not quit your day job until your art has progressed to the point that it's REALLY interfering with work.  When that happens, you'll know.

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Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

Hylian Assassin 5'5", 143 lbs.
Half-marathon: 3:02
It is pitch dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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Do you have a firm 8 am start time? 

 

What about taking early morning classes before you get to work? 

 

You'll see me post around here and lots think I'm crazy, but I'm on year 2 of regular attendance at 5:45 am spin classes- and when I don't spin I still go to the gym at 5:15 T/Th to lift. This helps start my day and lets me break my workouts up if I want to do both strength and cardio in my day to break up the two with an entire workday.  

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I've had a similar "issue" lately. I just rejoined the workforce again in the HVAC field. My normal work schedule is 8-4:30, with about a 40 minute commute one-way. But once spring hits we'll get extremely busy and there will be days when I get off later than normal, plus I'll have to go "on-call" soon where any after hours calls will go to whoever is on call that week. I lift at home after work (pretty active job); I can't lift in the morning because the equipment is in our bedroom and won't fit anywhere else in the house.

So I've had to evaluate my workout plan and schedule to make my time worth it. Since I mainly lift weights and do bodyweight stuff I've started Wendler's 5/3/1 program with accessory work added in. I'm managing to get my workouts done in about an hour, 4 times a week, with optional cardio/HIIT when I feel up to it.

Long story short, I feel your pain and wish you well on your continued fitness and artistic journey.

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If you're taking online art classes, then it would be better if you could wake up earlier? 

 

I've been trying to wake up at 5.30 - 6 am regularly, and YOU can really get a lot of things done in the morning with nobody disturbing you and wanting every minute of your life :)

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