There is a very interesting article on LinkedIn about why successful people often wear the same thing day in and day out, or perform the same task every day.  It is not that they are stuck in a rut it is that they are saving their thought process for more important items; making their next million dollars or solving the world hunger problem.

Over the years, I have found that I am much more alert early in the morning and as the day winds down so does my thought process.  After reading this article I realize this is not as odd as I thought. 

John Tierney, coauthor of the New York Times bestselling book “Willpower,” says,

“Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue - you’re not consciously aware of being tired - but you’re low on mental energy.”

Wearing a uniform each day takes away a lot of decisions.  No need to stand in front of a closet stuffed with clothes and debate that there is nothing to wear.  Come up with a set schedule and stick to it.  As truck drivers, it is hard to have a ridged schedule but it is possible to have a schedule for when we are driving and when we are sitting. 

Something that works well for us is each weekend we grocery shop and I prepare meals for the week.  Each weekend will find one of us in the laundry room.  Each weekend is spent catching up the bookkeeping, cleaning up the truck, and getting prepared for another week of driving.  I did not realize how much of a schedule we have till reading through this article:

  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-successful-individuals-wear-same-outfit-daily-vincent-carlos?trk=msn-ip

Our lives are not set in stone and sometimes the unexpected happens or an opportunity presents itself and the chore for that day is set on the back burner till able to rectify.  Laundry is done as soon as we have an extra couple of hours and that could be at midnight for Bob or at 4:30 for Linda but that job gets done as soon as possible.  Cooking is the same when we are stopped for a bit even if tired it is time to get a few things cooked for the upcoming week so we do not make a rash decision while hungry and buy junk food. 

Keeping the truck clean is a daily job and on weekends it is time for a deeper clean.  Wash the floors, while down walls, dash, and counter tops.  Both of us have oily skin and I am constantly on the lookout for oil on knobs we use all of the time or to keep the steering wheel clean.  With pets in the truck it is a constant battle to keep their hair as well as our hair we shed under control and the air filters in the truck are cleaned often. 

When we are at a shipper or receiver we have the same routine, backing into the dock or stopped waiting for a forklift, how the dolly legs are put down, when we know we can pull away from a dock, and how we do our paperwork. When something odd happens and our routine has to change on a load we have to take extra time to make sure everything is done and done right. This is how mistakes can happen. 

Each day ends the same with teeth brushed, face washed, water and food checked for the pets, blinds closed, and time to read a few chapters in the current book.  Phone is plugged in, headsets are plugged in, everything will be ready to start the next day. 

The constant change is outside of our truck as we can go from eighty-degree weather to snow within a driving shift, from a very pleasant truck stop to an overcrowded truck stop.  My sister cannot understand how we can never know where we are going as each day of the week she drives the same route to her never changing job.  What she cannot understand is that every day we do the same thing we drive and a mile is a mile no matter where we are. 

Form habits and save the brain power to improve the business, our lives, or to enjoy the fun things life has to offer.  I am often told I am organized but in reality I have a routine that is done day in and day out.  

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About Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda have been team drivers since 2005 as expediters. They are leased to Landstar Express America. Bob was a diesel mechanic for twenty years before doing over the road and Linda worked in the courthouse.

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