5 Healthy Ways To Deal With
Crazy Newsroom Schedules
5 Healthy Ways To
Deal With Crazy Newsroom Schedules
Several months ago, my doctor told me that my work schedule concerned him.
He said he has several other patients in the news business, and they all become happier, and healthier, when they leave the business or move to a “normal” schedule.
My doctor doesn’t like the fact that sometimes I don’t get home until 1 a.m., and have to be back at work seven hours later. He hates that sometimes I’m not eating all day, or shoving a granola bar in my mouth and calling it lunch.
I laughed him off when he told me I need to tell my boss to switch my newsroom schedules.
Let’s be honest, you know that’s not going to happen.
My doctor makes a lot of good points though. We work crazy schedules in TV News, and I’ve worked all of them throughout my career. It isn’t easy.
Sometimes you have to wake up at 2 a.m., and sometimes your day doesn’t start until 2 p.m. It can be hard to adjust to a schedule that isn’t 9 to 5.
The awkward newsroom schedules mess with your eating habits, your sleep schedule, and your ability to have a life outside of work. If you work weekends it’s an added annoyance, because you feel like you’re always missing the fun events everyone else is enjoying.
So here are some tips to make the most out of your not-so-ideal TV news schedule:
1. Have a set Bedtime.
Yeah, I know this sounds like something your mom would tell you. It’s true though! Waking up at 2 a.m. for the morning shift is never easy, but if you get enough sleep, it can be a little easier.
Do your best to go to bed at the same time every night, no matter what shift you work. Get blackout shades for your bedroom, so it will be easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
I’m married, and sometimes I will sleep in the guest room so that my husband doesn’t wake me up before a morning shift, or I don’t wake him up when I get home super late.
2. Pre-pack your Bag.
Again, I sound like mom here.
Pack your meals, fill up your water bottle, and have everything you need for work ready to go the day or night before. If things are well-organized, and you don’t have to run around looking for stuff before your shift, your day (or night) will start off much smoother.
I also suggest picking out your outfit the night before. It’s always nice when you don’t have too much to think about before work.
3. Join a Club or Group.
A big complaint a lot of people have about working mornings, nights, or weekends is that you work while your friends are off. I know this sucks.
Find a group or an activity that’s happening during your time off. MeetUp is also a great way to find events in your area.
Is there a book club that meets on Thursday afternoons? Does the running club get together at 6 a.m. before your dayside or nightside shift? Is there a Bible study you could go to on your day off?
You might be surprised to find out how much is actually going on during your free time. It will allow you to make new friends and get you out of the “I have nothing to do” rut.
4. Get to know your Coworkers.
This is tricky because I realize you probably don’t want to spend all your free time with the people you work with. The thing is, they understand the struggle.
Ask your anchor to grab lunch after the morning show or before your night shift. See if your weekend producer wants to go to movie during the week when you’re both off.
Make it a rule that you don’t talk about work while you’re out, and you’ll probably have a really good time.
5. Don’t Complain.
I realize you don’t want to work weekends, but the reality is that you probably will have to at some point.
If you’re new to a station and you are assigned to weekends, do not get mad about it. You’re new. Pay your dues.
You got into this business because you “love news”, right? If that’s true, then you should be happy with whichever shift you’re working.
There’s nothing worse than hearing the newbie complain that they are “missing a concert” or “too good” for a certain shift. Work hard and you’ll hopefully make it to your ideal shift one of these days!
Four of those ways are helpful in dealing with having a 24-hour job.
The fifth, “don’t complain”, reeks of the writer trying to please their boss.
Fuck that. A bitching soldier is a happy soldier, as the saying goes. Complain, complain, complain. Especially if the circumstances warrant it, like getting threats. If you die on the job, the job is no longer important to you. Did we not just read about a Seattle Times writer sexually harassing another reporter? Complain and let them know so they can address the problems.
Agreed. The martyr complex just makes working conditions worse.