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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

7 Ways to Be Productive During a Snow Storm

Happy #TruckerTuesday, Trucking Nation!

And what an eventful Tuesday it is! For you West Coaster's who may not know, the East coast has been hit with a huge winter storm, and our hometown of Rock Hill, SC, is currently covered in a thick sheet of ice!

We South Carolinian's aren’t accustomed to weather like this, so at the first sign of a snow flurry, everything pauses. And since road conditions are less-than-ideal at the moment, we know a lot of you truckers are stalled too!

But just because we’re trapped inside, it doesn’t mean we can’t be productive! In fact, Snow Days are a great time to catch up on the tasks you’ve been putting off.

So resist the urge to go sledding (at least until you’ve done some “grown-up” stuff), and let’s be productive together!

If you need a little inspiration, these 7 tips will help.


1. Organize your Business Records


Amidst the every-day hustle and bustle of trucking life, it’s easy to put off (and completely forget about) keeping your compliance records and finances organized–until of course, a deadline sneaks up on you!

But this Snow Day is a chance to avoid all of the pain and stress of last-minute recordkeeping.
Take some time today to catch up on your trip sheets, and you’ll be in a much better position when the end of the 2nd IFTA quarter rolls around.

Ready to level-up your organization game? If the messy pile of receipts and papers on your desk is winning the war, consider using a business management program to de-clutter your life. There are several programs on the market designed just for truckers and fleet managers. TruckLogics, for example, has Accounting, IFTA, and Trip Sheet features to keep every aspect of your transportation business in tip-top shape.


2. E-File your Heavy Vehicle Use Taxes


While you’re taming your wild paperwork, it’s also prime time to get your heavy vehicle use taxes out of the way! All you need is 1. An WiFi or 4G connection 2. A computer, tablet, or smartphone 3. Our free iOS or Android app, and 4. Your business & vehicle information.

In 10 minutes or less, you can complete a Form 2290, a 2290 Amendment, or Form 8849, and securely submit it to the IRS and receive your new stamped Schedule 1 via email immediately. Rain, snow, sleet, or hail, you can E-file your truck taxes all the same. That’s one more thing you can check off your list!


3. Clean Your Cab


Okay, so we can’t exactly call it Spring cleaning when everything is covered in a sheet of ice, but you get the idea.

Get a few steps ahead of Mother Nature, and start cleaning out your cab, closet, junk drawer or whatever other unholy area of your living space has been neglected. Start by going through your closet and sorting clothes into three piles: Keep, Trash & Donate. If you haven’t done this in a while, be prepared to find some wild stuff!

And if you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can even do a little “nesting” once you’ve finished cleaning. Just because the cab of your truck is tiny doesn’t mean it can’t feel like home sweet home. Invest in a throw rug (it’s easier to clean & replace than your floor), hang some curtains, and make your sleeping area extra lush with a new mattress topper and fluffy pillows. For more inspiration, check out my other blog Tips for a Cozier Cab.


4. Brace Yourselves: April 15th is Coming


With less than 2 months remaining, the tax deadline will be here before you know it! And this snow storm couldn’t have come at a better time. By now, everyone should have received their 1099’s and W-2’s from their employers, so there’s no reason why you can’t file now!

Unless of course, there is a reason you don’t want to file yet...in which case, you should use this time to go ahead and file an extension with the IRS. With a program like ExpressExtension, you can quickly E-file to automatically extend your tax deadline for 6 months. 


5. Break a Sweat


When it’s cold outside, it’s time to get hot inside...by working out, I mean! Ward off frostbite and keep your circulation going by trying some of these easy indoor exercises. I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t have any space in my truck,” or “I don’t have any exercise equipment on hand.”

Oh, ye of little faith! No matter where you are, you definitely have enough room to do some isometrics. Here’s an easy & effective one: Get in the driver’s seat, grip the wheel with both hands, and then try to push them toward each other for 10 seconds. Then release. After 10-20 reps, you’ll start feeling the burn!


6. Learn Something New


Don’t just exercise your body; exercise your mind! Do a crossword puzzle, play sudoku, or (dare I say it?) read a book! Even if the storm has knocked out your power, a book will still magically work in these primitive conditions! Alternatively, you can also listen to an audiobook or start learning a new language. YouTube is filled with free tutorials on every language under the sun! Become that bilingual babe you always wanted to be!


7. Recharge


This one may seem like cheating, but it’s actually quite important. While the whole world is frozen, take this opportunity to just stop and recharge yourself. You work hard every other day of the year, maybe it’s time to take a cue from Mother Nature and get some R&R.

Sleep in late, meditate, catch up with a loved one, or just have a Netflix marathon. Whatever you do, turn your brain off for just a little while and enjoy yourself. You deserve it!

(If your conscience won’t let you not work, then just do one or two things on this list first to absolve yourself of any guilt.)


Hopefully this list has inspired you to count this day as a blessing in disguise! The weather may be yucky, but there’s no need to write off today completely. You can still be a productive, upstanding citizen of the Trucking Nation! Now get to work, and most importantly, stay safe out there!

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