Keeping Up with Your Downtime
Using your downtime effectively is an important key to both managing and maximizing your ability to stay ready when that next load offer comes from your favorite dispatcher. Like most of us, it's probably very easy to slip into an old habit or routine that can be time-killing and counterproductive. So, here are some suggestions of what can be done with your time as you prepare for your next trip.
A Clean Truck is a Happy Truck
Clean freaks of the trucking world unite!
It's somewhat surprising just how simple it can be to keep a small living space so clean. All that's really needed is a couple towels (or moist wipes, if you're fancy) and some elbow grease. Wipe down the surfaces in your truck that are touched most often by human hands.
Snag a little feather duster the next time you're at the dollar store, maybe grab some glass cleaner, and commence with the spraying and wiping of your rig. Ask most folks, they'll tell you that they feel one hundred times better once they've cleaned up the most common areas of their living space. And if you make it a habit, you'll have your truck spic and span before your next load offer comes across the wire.
In today's society, especially in a greater health-conscious setting, more and more people set aside time to prepare their meals for the upcoming week. For a lot of folks, that meal prep is done in an effort to control what and when they eat, mainly to help with managing weight and/or internal health.
But when you're faced with downtime after finishing a trip, meal prepping can also be good to help pass the hours and minutes. And drivers who properly manage their mealtime, also find that they're better at managing their finances as well.
After a load is complete, have a grocery list of the supplies you'll buy most regularly. Plan ahead and know where you're going to shop. There's usually plenty of parking space at a Walmart where you can maximize your grocery spend. Then, once you've purchased your ingredients and needs for the week, get back to the comfort of your truck and begin putting those meals together for the next few days.
Not only will you find this method will save money in dining costs, like stopping for fast food or dining at a truck-stop, but the preparation will help fill the void of time while you wait for the phone to ring.
Pick Up a Hobby
These days, a hobby can be more than just collecting baseball cards or stamps and coins. Hobbies can be just about anything that brings joy to your day, and you can find there's a myriad way to fill your time when you realize what it is that brings you happiness.
Besides starting or contributing to a collection, other hobbies can be just as fulfilling. Build models like cars, airplanes, or trucks. Sew or stitch clothing, and these could be items that can be given as gifts or donated to women's or homeless shelters. Maybe even write or start a blog. Chronicle your thoughts and experiences on the road and share them with the world, or just keep them to yourself.
Check Out a Good Book
Read! Sure, reading for most people can be really dull. Boring, if you will. But if you're looking for suggestions to help while away the hours, or perhaps you could use some sleep assistance, a good book is the perfect remedy.
There are so many different genres out there to consider, it's almost like books were the very first streaming service. How-to books, current affairs, biographies, thrillers and mysteries, suspense and romance novels, business publications and even crossword puzzles. These are just a small sampling of the different types of consumable print options out there.
Here's a suggestion, especially if you're an owner operator. Find a book or two that helps in business management, one that may even cater to someone in the logistics or expedite industry. Keep abreast of all that's going on with your finances, while educating yourself in proper professional practices.
You just may be surprised at how fast time moves when you've become engrossed in a book that's hard to put down.
By the way, your next load is ready!
Whatever options you decide will best help you maximize your downtime, make sure you do so with the best of intentions. You might find disconnecting and focusing on other tasks may just assist time in its flying by, at least until you're ready for the next pickup.