How Do You Work Both Day and Night Shifts? (An Honest Guide)

Let’s start off by saying that working a day and a night shift over the course of twenty-four hours is not ideal and not something that we recommend doing. However, we understand that the ideal situation isn’t a luxury that everyone gets given. So, if you’re going to work ultra-long hours, we want you to have all the tools and resources needed in order to keep yourself safe, happy and healthy! 

Working two jobs across both the day and night is possible, though it requires an added focus and help. Areas of importance include your job locations, focusing on your time management, meal prepping, finding time daily to exercise, getting quality sleep and keeping your mental health in check.

People work two jobs within the same day for a variety of reasons, some of which are forced upon them. If you are struggling with multiple jobs or want to earn extra money by going down this path, keep reading for tips to keep you in check and thriving when working this alternating roster.

Working Day Shift and Night Shift? Don’t Underestimate the Location

We hate to state what you already know, but working two jobs means you have very limited time. So, making sure both jobs are in close proximity to your home, or at the very least close in distance to each other, is critical.

Depending on your schedule at both jobs, you’re probably not going to have much time to get from one location to the other.

Finding jobs that are close to each other gives you more time before you have to be on the clock for your next shift, meaning you can allocate some time to yourself or what’s important to you.

During this extra time, you could grab some food or maybe even get a power nap in! Even just a little bit of extra time can go a very long way. Plus, gas is NOT cheap nowadays either. You’ll be using a lot of gas going from home, to job number one, then to job number two, and then back home.

On top of that, after working two jobs throughout the day, you’re going to be too exhausted to want to take a long drive home. So if you’re driving between the two jobs, this video will help you get there in one piece.

Shift Work and Time Management

In honesty, effective time management is going to be your greatest tool when you’re working two jobs at once. You’re going to want to plan the days you work down to the very last minute. 

Thoroughly plan out your day from the time you wake up until the time you go back to bed. Let’s share some great time management practices to help you out! 

Create a daily schedule

Like I said, try to plan out your entire work day. A great way of doing this is by creating a daily schedule and sticking to it. Know where you’re going from point A to point B and at what time you need to be on the go.

Try noting it down, so you have a reference point throughout the day you don’t need to remember. You could also consider using clever shift work scheduling software or a nifty calendar app to keep you on track.

Set alarms

If you’re not one to create schedules, consider setting alarms throughout the day. Start with your wake-up alarm, then move to an alarm that tells you when it’s time to leave the house and head to work. Then set an alarm for your second job, that way you know when you should be en route to that location as well. Sometimes we fall victim to letting time pass us by and end up being late. No boss likes that!

Speaking of wake-up alarms, here are a few we love.

Don’t waste “FREE” time

Don’t let your free time in between jobs be a time that you just waste away. Consider taking a nap or going to get a snack – something that is going to benefit you throughout the rest of your day. 

If you’re feeling hungry, here are some great snack ideas worth packing for tonight’s shift.

Here are some more meal prep tips if you’re feeling inspired to cook!

Meal Prep

Running between jobs means you have very little time to pick up food, especially food that is healthy for you! I recommend meal preparation for those who just work one job, so I’d HIGHLY recommend it to those working two.

Meal prepping will save you time, stress, and money! Let’s get into some ways to ensure you get the most out of meal prepping

Organization is key

There isn’t a specific flow to follow, but you need to ensure the way that your space is set up works for you. Get your pantry and refrigerator in order so that creating a meal plan and grocery shopping is less stressful.

Stock the pantry/refrigerator

Well, you can’t really meal prep if you have no food in the pantry or refrigerator. Pick a day or two throughout the month to get your grocery shopping done. That way you’re not stressing throughout each week trying to figure out what meals you can curate. Make sure the foods that you get are healthy and versatile! 

Quality containers

Ensure that the containers you use are of good quality. If you’re going to meal prep, then you will be using containers quite frequently. You want to make sure that they can withstand the test of time. You’ll want to invest in good quality so that they safely secure your food and ensure the food doesn’t go bad while waiting to be eaten, or worse, spill everywhere on the way to work. 

We are obsessed with these glass containers. They don’t smell, become warped and there is never any mystery as to what’s inside when frozen, unlike the plastic variety!

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Batch cook

Batch cooking is great, especially when you don’t have enough time throughout the week to cook daily. Batch cooking allows you to prepare a large amount of food that can be consumed on separate days. Cook large batches of foods that you can pair with other foods throughout the week! Keep these foods stored in your refrigerator so that you are able to reheat them when the time comes. 

But when should I eat as a shift worker? Is there a right and wrong way? This video will help answer that

If after all that meal prep, you’re still looking for something quick to make sure you’re ticking all the right boxes concerning your daily nutritional requirements, look no further than SuperGreen TONIK. It’s so good that we love it and drink it every day ourselves – I can’t recommend it enough. Click here to buy or see our review here for 10% off.

Exercise and Shift Work

Exercise when you can, where you can. If you’re working two jobs, chances are you’re not going to have the time to frequent the gym. However, working out from your home can be sufficient.

“Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities” . 

(CDC, 2022)

You’re putting your body through a lot of stress while working two jobs, so you want to keep yourself as healthy as possible. Doing this will significantly increase your ability to continue working both jobs. 

Some great at-home exercises are:

  • Pushups
  • Situps
  • Squats
  • Running in place
  • Jumping jacks 
  • Lunges
  • Planking

Twenty to thirty minutes out of your day is all you need to engage in some type of physical activity. It doesn’t have to be anything too extreme unless you want it to be, but you need to make sure you are getting some type of physicality squeezed in there. I know pushing it off can be easy, but if you make it a point to exercise during a specific time it’ll come like second nature.

VIDEO – Best Time To Exercise When Working Night Shift

Quality Sleep

Sleep – my favorite topic! When you’re working two jobs, you want to make sure that you are getting as much quality sleep as possible. Surely working the hours that you do means getting a limited amount of sleep. So, the quality is critical when you do get those zzz’s. Let’s talk about some great ways to ensure a peaceful sleep! 

Create a routine

You need to be on a set schedule when it comes to your sleep. Creating a sleep routine allows you to schedule enough time for you to get the maximum amount of sleep as it relates to your work days. 7-9 hours is what we recommend.

Be mindful of your food

You don’t want to go to bed hungry and you surely don’t want to go to bed just after you’ve eaten a big meal. Ensure that you’re steering clear of heavy food consumption two hours before it’s time for you to go to sleep. Also, be mindful of the drinks you are taking in.

This is a tough one, but do yourself a favor and don’t drink anything that is caffeinated 6 hours before bed, as it can make it harder for your brain to rest and will eventually disrupt your sleeping pattern once you fall asleep.

Reduce blue light exposure

In the time before you turn down, significantly decrease your blue light exposure. Exposure to blue light is sneaky and tricks your brain into thinking that it’s still time to be up and awake, making it difficult for your brain to produce melatonin (the sleepy hormone). Either limit the use of your phone or TV an hour or two prior to going to bed or invest in equipment that is meant to block out blue light.

For example, blue light blocking glasses are great and truly do the trick! We are huge fans of Swanwick

Dan wearing Aviator blue light blocking glasses from Swanwick Sleep – see website here.
Remember to keep your blue light blocking glasses on even when brushing your teeth! See what other Sleep aids are available from Swanwick Sleep – here

Create the perfect sleep environment

Listen, if you’re not comfortable – you’re not going to get a good night’s rest. Create an environment where you can fall sound asleep and stay that way!

Make the room a temperature that is best suited for you (65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18.3 degrees Celsius is best). Get the room as dark as possible. If you’re a person who is having to sleep during the day, consider investing in blackout curtains or sleep masks. You may even benefit from a bit of white noise. 

Remember Why You Started 

This is so important – remember why you started working two jobs in the first place. In the hustle and bustle of it all, it’s easy to get bogged down and forget about the benefits or necessity of working two jobs.

Maybe you need the extra money to keep your bills afloat. Maybe you’re saving up for a big purchase or vacation. Whatever the reason may be, no person will be in this situation if they can avoid it. So, don’t lose sight of whatever it is driving you.

Don’t beat yourself up and get discouraged if it’s not going as you thought it would either. Remember that there is always a learning curve and trial and error are very real. Keep your end goal in mind and you’ll be golden! 

Related post: Should I Work a Job in a Warehouse? Your Questions Answered

Focus on Mental Health

Working two jobs at the same time can really take a toll on your mental health, so you want to make sure that you keep your mind in check. Let’s talk about some great ways to ensure your mental health is up to par! 

Stay positive

Remaining positive in such a chaotic world can seem next to impossible, however, it can be done. Finding a balance between your negative and positive emotions is essential. Remaining positive doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t experience negative emotions. It’s about how you respond to those emotions. Acknowledge the negative thoughts – see them, feel them, but don’t let them dictate your overall mentality. 

Related post – Shift Work & Mental Health – What People Don’t Tell You

Practice gratitude

This is something that you should be doing daily, practicing gratitude. Throughout the day make it a point to find and acknowledge things that you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be anything big, you can be grateful for literally anything on this planet. Find something that’s meaningful to you and either verbally acknowledge that or write it down. Practicing this daily will allow it to be second nature and you’ll end up doing it without even thinking about it. 

Social interactions

When you work so much it’s easy for your social battery to be constantly drained. That typically means you are limiting your social interactions when it comes to your time off. Doing this is fine, but don’t make it a habit and become a hermit, nesting in your house on every day you are away from the office.

Take some time and socially interact with the people you love, even if just for an hour or two. Doing this will really make a difference in your mental health because, without it, you’ll eventually you’ll start to feel disconnected from your loved ones.

Related post – No More Relationship Problems Because of Opposite Schedules


Therapy and counseling aren’t for everyone, but it’s important to know that the option is always there. Especially if you’re working two jobs and have very little time off, life can get overwhelming, so having someone that you can talk to and rely on for guidance can go a long way in navigating the rigors of the working schedule you’ve currently adopted.

Women sitting at desk

Again, working two jobs isn’t something that we recommend doing because of the toll that it can have on you. However, if that is your case then we want you to have all the tools necessary to remain as healthy as possible – both mentally and physically.

Overall, the goal is to take care of yourself. If you find yourself becoming worn out, it’s important to stop and take time to review what other options are available to you. Overworking yourself isn’t good for you or those around you.

Also make sure that you get at least 1 day off a week, when no work is being completed. Having a single day for you will go a long way to not getting burnt out.

We hope you found something here that helps you in a time of need and allows you to continue with the lifestyle you are choosing or required to complete right now.

Next up – Night Shift Recovery: Solid Advice You’ll Want To Hear


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Emma @ The Other Shift

Hey there! I'm Emma Smith a passionate, Registered Nurse from Australia. Together with my husband Daniel, we run The Other Shift. Our sole aim is to help shift workers and those on unusual schedules find balance between work and life. I understand the challenges of fitting in exercise, maintaining relationships and getting enough quality sleep, but I'm excited to show you that it’s possible to do shift work and still thrive. Read more about us and our story here.

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You've probably heard the term - work / life balance. Well that's easier said than done, when you work multiple jobs. How can you find this when majority of the time in your day has you on the clock? Albeit your personal time will look different to most, there are ways and means you can take your mind away from feeling like it's constantly on the job and recharge for the next shift. 
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