MH1 – Shift work with unpredictable timing and priority level of responsibilities

I work 24 hour shifts, from 7 AM to 7 AM the following day. During each shift I will have at least several hours of downtime when I don’t have immediate responsibilities, and can get other work or personal things done, and could use the time as focus time. However, there isn’t any way to predict when this will happen in the course of the shift. Sometimes I am really good at getting things done, and other days I will have free time early on, and think “Oh, I don’t want to do that item on the to-do list now, I’ll have time for it later and will do it later”. And then it doesn’t get done because later I end up being busy with immediate responsibilities that have to be done right then.

Do you have any suggestions for how to schedule tasks with this kind of unpredictable work? As I am typing this I think it would help me to prioritize the tasks that aren’t immediate, and then I probably just need to push through some resistance. Any other suggestions?