I recently learned there’s something about why the first 10 minutes matter in commercial kitchens. I’d never heard of this, yet read the most renowned chefs do it and are almost fanatical about the ritual.
And I find it fascinating because I do it, too.
What is it?
Mise-en-place is translated as “everything in its place.”
The “Meez” is what the professionals call it. It’s much more than a routine. In fact, it’s a near fanatical devotion to creating the right state of mind in a kitchen before beginning any activity.
During the “Meez” professional chefs and their staff stop. They make room to study their menu, pick the right tools and equipment, and make sure they have the proper ingredients.
Why the first 10 minutes matter
It’s important because this is the planning stage. The mental prepping stage. Even the physical prepping stage.
It’s preparing before beginning.
I loved this idea after reading about it in a Harvard Business Review post. It resonated so much with me because I have naturally done this for my whole entire professional career and it’s what I teach my clients.
When I was a vet tech, we always stopped to review appointments and the surgery schedule for the day. Did we have the right equipment? Enough people? How about meds? And what about cage/recovery space?
As an administrative assistant, I always stopped to review my day and make sure I was prepared for meetings. My goal was to anticipate what my boss might need.
Now as a business owner, I review my week first thing Monday morning and review my day’s events as my first morning activity.
This practice gets me into the right frame of mind for my clients. It keeps me focused on my priorities. I begin my day in response mode rather than reacting to whatever comes at me via email or voicemail or person.
I have what I need. It’s organized. I’m in control of my time. I’m ready to begin.
Calm rather than chaos
You, too, could benefit from mise-en-place. It’s a routine that could permeate every area of business and life:
- 15 minutes of meditation might revolutionize your daily outlook
- 0 minutes of checking email and voicemail for your first hour of work allows you time to knock out those #1 priorities
- 10 minutes to review your schedule and prioritize your To Do list helps you focus
- 5 minutes of prep time before your calls and meetings allows allows you to review notes, discussion points, etc., plus you can take one minute to check in and create the positive mental state you want to bring into the interaction
- 5 minutes at the end of each time block, task, or project allows you to finish what you start – put away papers, materials, and files; tidy your work space; prepare to “change gears” and begin the next time block, task, or project
- 10 minutes at the end of your day to mise-en-place means you leave your work area tidy and ready to begin again fresh tomorrow
If you could create a mise-en-place routine, how would that change your productivity, your efficiency, your effectiveness, and even your attitude?
Angie Mattson Stegall
P.S. I’ve created a short summer series to help you create your own mise-en-place routines in business and personally. Learn more here: http://yourorganizedguide.com/makesr-ecourse. Registration ends July 3, 2014. The course begins on Monday, July 7, 2014.