Finding the ‘meez’ – or How To Spend the First 10 Mins of Your Day

July 9th, 2014 by Search Influence Alumni

If you’re like me and have a short attention span love a good list, you’ve probably read countless articles like this. Despite being a self-proclaimed efficiency expert, I’m always on the hunt for ways to be even more efficient, especially at the start of my day.

A recent Harvard Business Review article showcases a tip from legendary chef Anthony Bourdain that is surprisingly as applicable in an office setting as it is in the kitchen. Mise-en-place – or the “meez,” as it is often called – is a French phrase that translates to “everything in its place.” In culinary practice, it involves studying a recipe, thinking through the tools and equipment you will need, and assembling the ingredients in the right proportion before you begin.

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Despite the fact that I never remember to do this in the kitchen, it’s a great idea for professionals to follow as well. Begin your day with a brief planning session – an intellectual mise-en-place, if you will – by mentally mapping out your upcoming tasks and meetings (and don’t forget about lunch!)

Also, rather than checking your email immediately upon sitting down in the morning, productivity guru David Allen (how do I get that title?) suggests starting each item on your to do list with a verb. Having a list of actionable items makes it easier to check things off your list. I don’t know about you, but I find few things more satisfying than a well-marked to-do list.

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Once you’re done planning, grab a second cup of coffee – because let’s be real, you’ve already finished your first – and now you can take on the day head first with a plan!

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