Hot shot trucking is not easy.
Aside from the long work hours, you also have to endure bad weather situations, heavy traffic, strict DOT regulations, and unreasonable demands of shippers. If you’re not careful, these factors can get to you and cause you, as it has other truckers, to experience extreme stress.
What better solution is out there than to take time off from work? Unfortunately, many drivers and owner-operators fail to appreciate the benefits of taking a break from hot shot trucking.
Unlike other “normal” jobs, taking regular vacations is not standard practice, much less a high priority, in the hot shot trucking industry. For some drivers, taking two days off from hot shot trucking already counts as a vacation. However, when you come to think of it, it’s not a real vacation as some of these drivers spend part of that time repairing or conditioning their truck!
“But I Cannot Afford to Take a Vacation!”
Have you ever said those words? Well, sometimes it’s true. Your situation is so tight that you don’t have the extra time or extra funds just lying around to take off for days at a time. But this hurdle can easily be overcome by a little goal-setting and planning.
Set aside a certain amount for your “vacation fund” each time you get paid. It can be any amount. Your vacation doesn’t have to be luxurious or expensive at all. It could be as simple as a camping, fishing, or hiking trip — or something enjoyable and relaxing that both you and your family can enjoy together.
Vacation Is an Investment, Not an Expense
Some people think that taking a vacation is a waste of money. They consider it an expense. However, this view is not correct. While taking a vacation indeed costs money, it’s an investment rather than merely an expense. It’s an investment towards your mental and physical health.
There was a study released by the American Psychological Association that proved that vacations are effective in reducing stress. Other studies have also shown that vacations have a positive effect on your vascular health and system.
Aside from the physical health benefits, taking time off from work improves your relationships with family and friends. There’s probably no better investment out there than making major deposits into your relationships, which ultimately lead to happiness and long-term well-being.
But if you’ve read this far and are still unconvinced (but we hope you already are), here are five reasons why it’s to your best advantage to take that much-needed break from hot shot trucking:
1. You’ll Have a Better Work-Life Balance
There’s more to life than loads and driving. No doubt you have hobbies and interests that you may have pushed aside in order to earn a living. By taking time off to recharge and reconnect with the deepest parts of who you are, you can gain a better work-life balance and rekindle what you love doing. And when you get back on the road, you’ll be less stressed and much happier.
2. You Will Help Prevent an Anxiety Attack
When you’re constantly on the road, logging long hours for several days at a time, you may be susceptible to anxiety attacks. This is a condition where you easily get tired and irritated and have trouble concentrating and remembering. These behaviors can negatively impact your performance on the job. And when you’re having trouble focusing, you put yourself and other motorists at greater risk of getting into an accident. So before this happens, give yourself a break so that you can recharge and relax.
3. It Will Help You Regain a Singular Focus on Your Goals
When you’re so close to your tasks, it’s often hard to gain perspective. Especially if you’re an owner-operator, there are so many things to juggle. You may lose focus as you lose sight of your goals. By taking a few days off, you will gain that sorely needed perspective so you can get a clearer mind. This will help you develop more effective plans to attain your various goals.
4. It Will Help You Improve Your Relationships With Others
We all know that work is important. And focusing on a career is a given. However, we mustn’t neglect our relationships if we want to maintain our emotional and mental well-being. This is doubly important if you are a family man. But maintaining these relationships become impossible if you’re always on the road.
Of course, we can always be connected these days through our gadgets and modern technology. However, nothing beats quality face-to-face time spent with your loved ones.
5. You Will Be More Productive When You Return
We have all experienced it. The energized feeling of getting back to work after a very relaxing and rejuvenating vacation. That’s how you’ll likewise feel when you get back from your vacation. So make it a point to set aside and plan your days off from hot shot trucking. You will increase your motivation and drive to work, and you may even look forward to that next vacation!
The Bottom Line
Taking some time off from your job is not a sin. It’s not a luxury either. It’s a necessity — a must if you expect to perform at the very highest level. You should want to do it so you can continue to work effectively and efficiently. So don’t feel guilty about taking a vacation. You deserve it!