The world is constantly evolving, and many businesses have embraced the adage that we must change with the times and be able to adapt quickly to new situations. What does this mean for the logistics industry? With freight volumes increasing, will we invest in new technology and ideas or will we go back to repeating the same bad habits and wonder why we’re not able to compete?
CarrierDirect, a consulting firm whose mission is to transform transportation, has noticed some definite trends in the industry. “The market is going through an interesting transition out there; freight levels are back, but there’s a separation between the companies returning to old bad habits and those that are evolving. We’re seeing the market being flooded with professional managers and investors from other industries, as well as some tech startups, who are bringing new ideas, technology, and goals for innovation. The old way of doing things has ended and the companies who don’t invest in their capabilities to compete in this era of ‘new normal’ will be left behind,” says Joel Clum, Executive VP for CarrierDirect.
Bad habits, whether it’s in our personal or professional lives, are what hold us back. There’s a science behind breaking bad habits, and experts are saying it’s not about stopping… it’s about substituting. In other words, replace your behavior with one that will get you closer to what you want to achieve.
In a logistics career, this could mean removing manual processes in favor of automation, adopting new technology to replace inefficient and cumbersome tasks, encouraging your vendors to do the same, or documenting best practices rather than relying solely on your employees to train new people. The training is only as good as the trainer, and often, this is how bad habits get passed along from one team member to the next.
Breaking bad habits takes planning and consistency. If you follow these steps, you’ll most likely have a better chance of success than if you just tried using “mind over matter” and tell yourself to stop.
- Identify the Trigger – The next time you engage in the behavior you want to break, be aware of what is causing it. Ask yourself, “What is going on emotionally? Am I stressed? Am I bored?” Many bad habits are born out of stress or boredom. By identifying the trigger, you can push back rather than allowing yourself to just go through the motions.
- Develop a Substitute Plan – You don’t eliminate bad habits, you replace them. If you tend to continue working rather than having a set stop time, set an alarm to remind yourself to stop, then go do something else such as exercise, settle in with a good book, talk to family and friends, watch that Netflix show everyone’s been talking about, etc. To avoid the temptation of going back to your computer, shut it down and put it away so it doesn’t become a visual cue.
- Utilize Prompts – Prompts are anything that will help remind you to stay on track. If you want to exercise more, put your tennis shoes at the side of your bed or next to your workstation so you see them first thing in the morning. If eating healthier is your goal, replace the junk food on your kitchen counter with alternative snacks such as trail mix and fruit.
- Be Persistent and Patient – It takes time to break patterns that have become a part of our daily routine. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip back into your old ways every now and again. Just don’t use it as an excuse to give up. Every day you don’t engage in the bad habit should be considered a win!
For more information on how to build good habits and break old ones, we recommend reading Atomic Habits by James Clear.