It’s Monday, a start of a fresh week, a start of a new month. You may even have today off…but let’s be honest – even with a day off in front of you there are still things to do. This week is inspired by this amazing NPR podcast from The Salt called “For A More Ordered Life, Organize Like A Chef” at just 7 minutes long I recommend downloading it and listening to it on your next drive to the grocery store. My very first job was working in a restaurant and those experiences taught me so much.
Three Key Lessons from the Restaurant:
- Mise-en-place is a french word meaning “putting in place”. It’s something that is done over and over again within restaurants and a great habit to get into no matter what it is you’re doing – it’s basically setting yourself up for whatever it is you have to do. It makes great sense to get out all of your ingredients together prior to starting to cook and the same principle can be applied to any task that you have to do.For example: lets say that you’re working on a new blog post – prior to starting to write the actual post it’s a good idea to make your post graphic, take a picture for the post (or a series of photos), figure out your keywords so you can integrate them into your post, have your links ready so you can add those to your post without a hunt.
Another example: you have an upcoming meeting with your accountant. Have all of your online log-ins in an accessible place, gather all of your receipts, have your invoices & cleared checks & bank statements at the ready and have a list of questions so you utilize the time to the best of your ability.
- Start with a clean surface. From the back of the house, to the tables to the bar, all surfaces in a restaurant start out clean. Take this approach with the surfaces you interact with. Take all of the things off, clean the surface and then be thoughtful when putting things back. Edit the unnecessary to remove distractions.
- Every interaction starts with a Greeting. There’s something really nice about stepping into a room and being greeted with a warm hello and a smile. This was true when guests walked into the restaurant and its really important in your personal life.For example: I work from home, so most of the time I’m here when people come back from various activities and work. When I take the time to get up and greet them with a warm smile, a hello, a question on how their time away from the house was it makes a remarkable difference in the energy of our home. When someone has to seek me out they feel like they’re intruding and their return isn’t celebrated which is a little thing that makes a huge impact. People are important. Greeting people honors that.
I would love to know what you think of these lessons and if you have one you’d like to share of your own. You can comment on this blog post or head over to Facebook where we’ll be taking the conversation further!