This goes a ways back but it’s a good story for a Sunday.
I was working at Honda of America and I was on the night shift. More specifically, I could only work from 6 pm to 6 am because they ran production on the day shift. We were installing a new system on a “hot” line and we could not do anything that would affect production.
I had been working for about 2 weeks on this schedule and trying to sleep in a hotel is not the easiest thing to do during the day. I was tired. I was the programmer on the job and we were about done but I was chasing a bug and I could not find it.
It was about 3 am and I had been chasing the same bug for about two hours. I leaned back against the spray booth (this was an active paint line) and closed my eyes for a minute trying the think of the best thing I could do. Just then, the project manager walked up and demanded to know what I was going to do about the bug.
I opened my eyes and met his and then it hit me. I was going to get some sleep. I began to pack up my stuff and again he asked what I was going to do. I said, “I’m going to get some sleep” and finished packing. He was not happy and asked, “Well, what am I supposed to do?” and I said, “I suggest that you get some too”.
I slept about 10 hours that “night” and when I got to the plant at 6 pm I was able to fix the bug by 6:15 pm and move on to the next thing. Problem solved.
I could have worked on the problem the rest of the night but I doubt I would have fixed it. The best solution was to get some rest and tackle it the next day. You’ve got to do the same thing.
Plan a day off. 24 hours of rest. Some say that is not possible in this business but I say they’re not creative enough. One of my mentors was a pastor of a growing church and he worked long hours but he had to take a break somehow. His solution was to take off noon Tuesday until noon Wednesday. 24 hours. A day of rest but not a conventional day. It still worked.
Find a schedule that works for you and do your best to stick to it. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do but the idea is to return to the schedule when we can. Make sure you take care of yourself. No one else will.