• 02 June 2021
  • 8 min read

Tips For Transitioning From Shift Work To 9-5

  • Yvette Opoku
    School Nurse
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Matt Farrah
    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
  • 574
Play video: "You'll feel more fulfilled and ready for the working week."

Going from erratic shift patterns to the regular 9-5 can be quite jarring. School Nurse, Yvette, offers tips for making the transition and explains why making the most of your time off is key.

Topics covered in this article


Understand The Differences

Give Yourself Structure

Make Plans For Your Time Off

Make Sure You Have A Good Sleep Routine

Use Your Annual Leave Meaningfully


Hi everyone.

My name is Yvette, and today, I'm going to be giving you five tips transitioning from shift work to 9:00 to 5:00 work.

Let's get straight into it.

Understand The Differences

So my first tip is to understand and accept that 9:00 to 5:00 work looks different from shift work, and sometimes you might find that you feel like you're always at work.

Now, this can be a bit difficult, as when you have shift work, there is more room for flexibility, more room to maybe plan your days in advance, more opportunity to carry out your personal tasks, such as food shopping, a few post office errands you have.

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You also find that it's easy to access different services during the times that you have off because more people are at work at that time.

You also may feel like you're always at work because in a week, you tend to be at work four to five days out of seven.

Now this can be overbearing in the beginning.

However, my next tips will help support you in managing that feeling.

Give Yourself Structure

Tip number two.

And this was my saving grace transitioning from shift work to 9:00 to 5:00.

Structure, Structure, Structure.

Structure saves the day.

So what do I mean by structure?

How you structure your life moving forward within time and whether you enjoy 9:00 to 5:00 work or not.

So it's important to create a schedule.

And when creating a schedule, this goes hand in hand with a to-do list: what you have to do for this week, when are you available to do so, and when are you not.

It's very important to structure your days in order to ensure productivity.

This will help support you in your transition from shift work to 9:00 to 5:00 work as you do feel like you are able to fulfil more than just going to work.

Ensuring that you include tasks on the days that you're working will allow you to feel a sense of productivity and getting the most out of your day.

This schedule also allows you to ensure that you are meeting all your targets, all your goals, and all your achievements maybe for the year, for the month.

If this means including a hobby, this will also help support your work-life balance, so you don't always feel like you're at work.

Now that goes straight onto my next tip: make plans.

Make Plans For Your Time Off

So tip number three is to make plans.

And what do I mean by making plans?

I simply mean ensure that you schedule in self-care times.

So self-care might be meeting up with a friend, doing activity, going for a spa, getting your nails done, getting your hair done, getting your feet done, but make sure you make plans.

Making plans also help support your working week.

If you're working Monday to Friday, for example, and you already feel like your whole week is going to work, when you make plans, you have something to look forward to.

This increases your work morale, your enthusiasm, as you know that, I just got to get through this working week and I can celebrate Friday, on the weekend, or even sometimes on workdays.

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Do you have any questions about transitioning to a 9 to 5?

Ask Yvette your questions below

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The positive about working 9:00 to 5:00, 8:00 to 4:00 shifts is that you can make the most out of your day.

You don't find that you're stuck at work all day or you're doing night shifts, so you're unavailable to meet with girls that don't actually do shift work.

Making plans also supports you feeling a sense of achievement.

Are you making plans to go to the gym?

Are you making plans to learn a new skill?

All these little things help support your transition from shift work to 9:00 to 5:00, as you do find the level of productivity can sometimes actually increase.

Also with the positive of structure of 9:00 to 5:00 is you know what to expect.

You kind of know when you have to make plans.

You're not stressed about thinking, oh, am I working a long day?

Am I work on a night?

Can I actually go out with my friends, my family, my colleagues or do I have to think about, who do I swap with?

Who is going to cover my shift for me?

If I can't cover my shift, does that mean that I'm being left out from extracurricular activities that do promote and support self-care?

Make Sure You Have A Good Sleep Routine

Tip number four. And this is a special one.

Tip number four is, ensure, ensure you have an early sleep routine.

This is like gold dust.

I don't know why I didn't make it tip number one because with this tip, will help support you in getting used to the fact that you actually have to wake up every day at the same time, early every day.

Now this is a massive transition from shift work, as you know, many do shift, but you find that sometimes you might only have to wake up three times in a week early or you're even doing night shifts.

So the flip reverse doesn't affect you as much.

When you're doing 9:00 to 5:00 work, waking up early every single day can actually be very, very difficult.

But after a while, when you incorporate a early sleep routine, this means that you're going to have adequate sleep.

And with adequate sleep, will give you strength and you will be energised and ready for the shift.

Now, like I said, at least it will be difficult, but with an early sleep routine, this will navigate and contribute to the structure of your day, and therefore support you in transitioning from shift back to 9:00 to 5:00.

Use Your Annual Leave Meaningfully

Our last and final tip is to ensure you use your annual leave meaningfully.

So when you're on shift work, you have more access to annual leave as your working days are usually three days a week.

So I find that you end up with six or seven weeks of annual leave.

However, when you do 9:00 to 5:00, because your working week is five days a week, you have less weeks to take annual leave.

So it's very important that you make your annual leave meaningful because then you'll actually be ready and revitalised and ready to come back to work after that annual leave.

Also, you don't want to feel like your life revolves around being at work.

Already, you're going to be at work five times in a week or four, depending on your contract.

And then if you use your annual leave to just stay at home, you won't actually feel like you've actually done anything outside of work.

Having an amazing annual leave will get you ready to come back to work.

And then you'll actually be excited.

You'll feel more fulfilled and ready for the working week or the block of week you'll be working.

So for example, you might be working six weeks at a time with our annual leave.

Now again, this is something to look forward to.

So if you have a meaningful annual leave, then it's something to look forward to; you're geared up.

It supports you on getting through your working weeks.

You're waking up every day.

So this will actively support you and improve your overall morale.

I hope these tips were very useful for you, and stay tuned to the next video.


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Do you have any questions about transitioning to a 9 to 5?

Ask Yvette your questions below

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  • Yvette Opoku
    School Nurse

About the author

  • Yvette Opoku
    School Nurse

Yvette is a qualified Nurse, formally working as a Neonatal Nurse, and Neonatal Junior Sister. Yvette now works as a School Nurse, and runs the ‘askNurse’ Instagram page.

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