I read a really good post, drawing on restaurants, in HBR about thinking about where you begin your day. Here’s a snippet:
“Mise-en-place is the religion of all good line cooks,” Bourdain wrote in his runaway bestseller Kitchen Confidential. “As a cook, your station, and its condition, its state of readiness, is an extension of your nervous system… The universe is in order when your station is set…”Chefs like Anthony Bourdain have long appreciated that when it comes to exceptional cooking, the single most important ingredient of any dish is planning. It’s the “Meez” that forces Bourdain to think ahead, that saves him from having to distractedly search for items midway through, and that allows him to channel his full attention to the dish before him.Most of us do not work in kitchens. We do not interact with ingredients that need to be collected, prepped, or measured. And yet the value of applying a similar approach and deliberately taking time out to plan before we begin is arguably greater.
The article is well worth your time. Don’t start your day on Facebook and Twitter, or even looking at email. Glance at your calendar and plan out what you need and line your ducks up so that when you’re in the middle of the day you don’t run out of steam, pens, paper, disk space, or especially mental bandwidth.