Simple Ways to Boost Productivity on The Road
Often times we get settled into routines and rarely veer from them. It is a good idea to step back and gain perspective on your routine to ensure you are working efficiently. Consider making the following tweaks to your daily routine. It could make a big difference in your happiness and productivity levels.
To- Do Lists
If you forget to get tasks checked off your mental to-do list, try making it tangible by writing everything down. This helps you hold yourself accountable and you are able to cross off tasks as you complete them. An important step in creating your to-do lists is to plan where you will stop for your next DOT required 10-hour break because if you move your truck at all, you are required to start your 10-hour time block over. Plan your daily schedule ahead of time and work that schedule into your organized to-do. Studies show that ‘routinized work’ requires less energy. It is beneficial to write down breaks, pre-check routines, and loading/unloading times to help you keep on schedule.
Now that you have all your tasks written down, it’s time to take the jump and start completing them. Complete your hardest tasks first. After completing the most difficult, tedious, or dreadful task first, the rest of the day is downhill from here. Don’t fall victim to the “I’ll do it later” mantra. This becomes a bad habit and self-discipline falls by the wayside. If you put things off, these tasks will pile up and create a lengthy to-do list, leaving you stressed with a disrupted workflow.
Meal & Snack Planning
Pre-planning your meals and snacks doesn’t only lead to a healthier lifestyle but it can also help with productivity. When you get tired and hungry, satisfying your food cravings becomes the priority. This detracts your focus from productive and safe driving.
You may be craving a latte and an order of fries, but sugary drinks and foods are followed by an energy crash, making you feel lethargic for the rest of the day. To avoid this, pack lunches. Most truck stops have lunchmeat, whole grain bread and cheese to make sandwiches for upcoming meals on the road. Grab some fresh fruit or cut veggies for a healthy lunch. If you are a snacker, consider packing protein bars, fibrous foods, nuts, and berries. These are great for your next trip because they sit in your stomach and make you feel fuller, longer. For more suggestions on healthy substitutions, read 10 Healthy Eating Tips For On The Road.
Get plenty of sleep. A rested body and mind provide clarity, which enables you to focus and produce quality results in whatever task lies ahead. As you are required by the DOT to take set breaks, use this time to rest. Being alert and focused while driving is pertinent to everyone’s safety on the road.
Exercise is proven to clear your mind and boost your energy. Just as sleep does, exercise makes for a sound mind that allows you to narrow your focus onto the tasks and ensure you are working at your maximum efficiency. If you need ideas on effective exercises and stretching specific to truckers, read our blogs on Stretching Tips for Truck Drivers and Portable Exercise Equipment for Truck Drivers.
Instead of trying to take on everything at once, try tackling one task at a time. Research shows that multitasking isn’t productive. Psychologists say that attempting to multitask makes us lose focus and reduces our quality of work.
Lastly, love what you do. Make things enjoyable and reward yourself after you complete a task. Plan some wiggle room in your schedule. After all, we are human and make mistakes that sometimes require a rescheduling or an extra 20 minutes to complete.
As you reach the end of your day, reflect and identify your highs and lows. When where you most productive and what tasks were most wasteful? Plan to optimize these areas the next day to prevent these tasks from becoming a bad habit. Make a mental note of what you can do better the next time and you’ll surely be on the road to self-improvement.