11 Essential Time Management Hacks for Road Warriors
August 16, 2015
For people who drive long distances such as van drivers, time is of the utmost concern. Sometimes even a slight change in strategy can save you hours of being stuck in traffic. To help you manage your time on the road better, here are 11 time management hacks especially for road warriors.
1. Be Aware of Traffic Conditions
Getting stuck in traffic near an accident or an area where construction is being done can really ruin your forward momentum. That’s why you should always stay up-to-date with current road conditions. Apps such as Beat the Traffic can help you do this, so check your route before heading off.
2. Get an Early Start
Whenever possible, get on the road when the sun comes up. This can be challenging if you’re not a morning person. However, it helps you beat rush hour traffic in the morning and ensures that the day gets off to a productive start.
3. Check Your Vehicle
Get a tune-up, check your tires and make sure your vehicle is roadworthy before you set off on your trip. This is important as it’s both a safety measure and a way to reduce the likelihood of minor mishaps.
4. Have the Right Insurance Policy
Having an up-to-date insurance policy is a must, and a legal requirement in some countries. If you get into an accident on your trip, having a reliable insurance company will help you resolve matters efficiently. Some insurance companies also offer breakdown cover so if your car refuses to start, you’ll have someone sent to your location to fix the problem so you’re not left stranded.
5. Pack a Basic Toolkit
Having items on hand such as jumper cables, a tire jack, a flashlight and oil is useful if you need to do any maintenance on the road. You don’t want to find out too late that you’re missing a lug wrench, ratchet or other essential tool when you need it.
6. Take Some Healthy Snacks
Having a good selection of food, such as fruits, nuts, beverages and sandwiches can save you time, as you won’t need to make a detour for roadside cafes, which are popular with people travelling long distances. In fact, about one third of van drivers regularly stop to pick up some coffee! Bring some food with you and you can reduce the number of stops you make, and you’ll even save yourself some money while you’re at it.
7. Plan Your Route Carefully
You should always compare several alternative routes to get to your destination. In some cases, you might opt for a slower route because it’s more scenic or you want to make a special stop. However, you should always be aware of how long different routes will take, and if they’re likely to become congested with traffic. There are plenty of apps on offer that do the hard work for you, such as Android Auto and inRoute, so download one before you head off to your destination.
8. Share Driving
Sharing driving responsibilities in a balanced manner can help with time management, as one person can drive while the other rests. It also makes the trip go by more quickly when one person isn’t behind the wheel the entire time.
9. Use Your Time Wisely
There are ways to use your driving time more efficiently. Listening to audiobooks or instructional material allows you to absorb information while you’re driving. A person who isn’t driving can complete some important calls on the road. Doing essential tasks on the road is a way to better manage your time.
10. Bring Paper Maps
Many drivers today rely solely on GPS and apps on their devices to guide them. Physical maps, however, can still be useful. They are often more convenient to read than digital ones. They are also helpful to fall back on if your devices aren’t working properly or run out of battery.
11. Drive at a Reasonable Speed
If you drive too fast because you want to arrive sooner, you risk getting a ticket, which will not only cost you money but will waste time. Speeding also increases the risk of an accident, wears out your vehicle faster, and burns more fuel. Staying close to the speed limit may seem like it takes longer, but it’s a wise long-term driving strategy.