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7 Things You Need to Know Before You Drive in the Snow

7 Things You Need to Know Before You Drive in the Snow

It can be nice waking up to a fresh blanket of snow. It’s peaceful, pretty, and can be fun if you’ve got the day off. If you’re not one of the lucky few who get to stay in and enjoy the view, however, it can be a real pain to drive in (not to mention dangerous). Knowing what to do, and what not to do, can really save you time and keep you much safer on the roads. Here are seven tips on how to maneuver the roads in wintery weather.

1. Get yourself ready to drive in the snow.

This means clearing a path for your car by shoveling the driveway and scraping away any snow or ice on the mirrors and lights on your car. Be sure to leave your house earlier than you normally would. This extra time means you won’t feel rushed when driving in the hazardous conditions, which keeps you, and everyone else on the road, safer. If you live in an area that frequently experiences heavy snow, get snow tires put on your vehicle to ensure your tires have better traction in the slippery conditions.

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2. Do a quick maintenance check on your car.

Make sure your defrosters are working, as well as your defogger and antifreeze. Also check your car battery. If snow is blown up under the hood of the car overnight, it can drain the battery without you realizing it. If anything doesn’t seem to be working properly, see if there is anything you can do to get it going again. If not, don’t risk it! Arrange alternative travel plans.

3. Drive slowly.

Winter weather can wreak havoc on roads, especially if your town hasn’t adequately prepared by putting salt down. Black ice is of particular concern, as it is very hard to see but very slippery. Drive more slowly than you normally would. Drive under the speed limit and watch out for people who are driving too fast, as they are more likely to run into problems on the road.

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4. Keep your distance from other drivers.

Stay far behind other drivers. Many people recommend keeping about three cars’ lengths behind the car in front of you. The last thing you want to happen is to start to slide forward into another vehicle because you were too close. By the same token, try to warn drivers behind you of your behaviors. Before making a full stop, tap your brakes several times to flash your brake lights. This will alert the person behind you that you are about to stop.

5. Be prepared to deal with skidding.

If your car starts to skid, don’t panic. This will only make matters worse. Remove your foot from the accelerator, but do not brake—this can just make the skid worse, and can potentially make you lose control of the car completely. Steer in the direction you want your car to go and slowly recover from the skid. Take it extra slow for a couple of minutes after a skid to give your tires a chance to regain proper traction.

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6. Take turns slowly and with caution.

Turning while on roads that have been affected by winter weather can be iffy. It’s easy to complete the turn too widely, as the car tends to move more on the snow than it would under normal driving conditions. A good rule of thumb is to complete the turn the same way with the steering wheel (don’t jerk it, but turn it smoothly and quickly) but go slowly and while pumping the brakes if necessary.

7. Keep your headlights on.

Yes, even during the day. You want other motorists to be as aware of your presence as possible, especially when snowfall is heavy.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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