Had another great life lesson smack me in the face (the best kind) just this week. I need to beware (and be aware) of my habits.

Allow me to illustrate – I don’t travel an inordinate amount for business,  maybe 25% of the time. It’s not cumbersome, and it’s usually planned in advance. Not only that, but the destination is almost always the same – San Francisco.

So I can plan that trip in my sleep…and that’s the problem.

bad habits...get it?

bad habits…get it?

In ONE trip, I actually did the following:

    1. Drove to DFW International and actually went into Terminal B looking for my flight. Never took note that this time I was flying out of Dallas Love Field. No worries, I’m generally pretty good about getting to the airport with time to spare, so after a brief cursing of myself I hot-footed it to downtown Dallas. Made the flight, had a funny story for the wife.
    2. Upon reaching SFO and proceeding to the Alamo Rental Car counter (yes, “Alamo,” I’m a Texan, it’s intentional) I was informed that I had booked the car for two days later in the week. How I did that I have no idea, but the end result was being relegated to what appeared to be an M&M with wheels. Frustrating, but just added to the now funnier story for the wife.
    3. My flight had actually been delayed on the tarmac in Dallas for almost 2 hours, so as I’m heading to the Marriott it seemed good idea to call and alert them to my late arrival. Time to start being smart again. I had my Marriott Rewards number and even had my confirmation number written down – that’s how I roll. Except I was rolling to the wrong hotel. After about 10 minutes of waiting while a Marriott agent look in futility for my reservation, I was exasperated and getting a little chippy with the agent. She must have figured out the problem, however, when she realized that the code I gave her included one too many digits; “are you sure that’s a Marriott code, sir?”

“Am I sure? Of course I’m s…….gotta go.”

I was booked at the Westin.

That’s a trifecta. Wrong airport, wrong car, wrong hotel…winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Rainman could have traveled more efficiently.

My lesson, besides the obvious realization that I’m not smart, was that I had too much confidence in my habits. Never thought to double-check this trip in case things were different (in this case the hotel changed because of over-booking, but that’s the only remote excuse I can come up with) than they “always” were.

Because of that, I wasn’t on top of my game, I wasn’t sharp, and I certainly wasn’t productive. Keep that in mind if you’re on auto-pilot on any of your daily/weekly/monthly duties ~ habits can be a detriment to your overall success.

Just ask the guy driving the Skittle down 101 South.