4 minute read – NDIS Career Series – Working with an NDIS provider
If you are employed by an NDIS provider or you work in a care environment, especially a frontline role, there is every chance you work shifts.
If you work in a larger regional area or a city, you may work those shifts across multiple organisations, travelling between one and the other to increase your income.
In fact, there is every chance you might work an overnight, supporting an in-home client, and then drive to a facility to provide services the following day.
Needless to say, a workload like this can be exhausting.
Managing exhaustion as a shift worker, or just as someone with a heavy workload, can seem impossible. Many of us simply give in to the idea that we may never not feel tired again.
And really, that could be the case.
But it doesn’t have to be.
While we can’t control everything, and we can’t change much about our jobs, we can do some little things in our lives that help make our downtime more effective and more abundant.
1. Draw on technology to optimise your personal time
For many people, household and family obligations outside of work can take up a lot of time, and when we’re tired, we actually tend to do them more slowly and less efficiently.
By taking a look at the aspects of your life that you could refine and optimise, you can save yourself time and energy, and either get to bed faster, or spend some much needed time snuggled up on the couch.
A great way to approach optimising your personal time is to write a list of all the household and other obligations you have. Look at which tasks might be made easier by calling in some help or by using technology to be more productive.
For example, meal planning apps allow you to select meals with a tap, and with one more tap, add all the groceries to your grocery list and send off the order to your supermarket for delivery.
So, rather than spending 30 minutes or an hour compiling your list and planning your meals, and a further hour or more at the grocery store, you spend two minutes and gain back more than 60!
Likewise, you can minimise hours spent after work catching up on timesheets, by drawing on apps like VisiCase (if it is used within your NDIS provider) to record your shifts and submit to management.
2. Work as a community to share the load
The introduction of services like YouFoodz and Light’n’Easy have been welcomed eagerly by busy Australians who are short on time and energy, but want to eat good, healthy meals.
The problem is, not everyone can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on food every week – even if it is pre-cooked for you!
One building community (residents who live in the same apartment block) in Sydney tackled this problem by putting their heads – and their kitchens – together.
Realising each household was short on time and money, they each agreed to bulk cook one meal for several other families at the start of the week, and in return, would receive four days of cooked meals for their own families.
Draw on your community, whether it’s your building, your family or even your work colleagues, to determine how you can make household tasks more efficient.
3. Go to sleep faster
Often a big problem with being exhausted from work, is that work continues to play on your mind, even when you’ve finally made it through the day and into your bed!
Writing down your thoughts in a diary or even on your phone before bed, can enable you to find more mental order and clarity, helping you get to sleep faster!
4. Stretch and exercise regularly while working with an NDIS provider
It might sound counter-intuitive, because you are already tired, but moving around can help wake you up – especially if you are working a physical or long shift in a care role.
Many health specialists recommend stopping and stretching regularly while at work so you can loosen up your body, reduce the likelihood of injury, keep the blood flowing, and stay alert and focused.
Read our recent article for NDIS carers, featuring sports therapist, Rachael Leek, for some easy stretches that can protect your body and help fight off tiredness.
5. Talk to your manager
Organisations, including your NDIS provider employer, have a duty of care to look after their employees – and managing fatigue falls under this remit.
If you have tried everything, but just can’t seem to shake that feeling of exhaustion, it’s time to talk to your manager.
Being open and honest can help a manager, as they may not even be aware of the problem. Working together, you might be able to find different ways to reorganise your shifts, or even identify shifts that will result in less exhaustion.
VisiCase provides an NDIS-ready business automation platform, built on powerful workflows. It helps you manage, streamline and optimise every component of your business, and its modules empower a positive employee and client experience.
Image by Kinga Cichewicz