Archive | August, 2014

Organizing My Life and a little NPR

15 Aug

In a quick departure from restaurant reviews (more coming soon!), an interesting story on NPR struck a cord with me this week.

I really love organizing and lists.  I love crossing things off my lists even more.  I am always the one nagging my office manager to order bigger white boards and more dry erase markers.

As I’ve taken more and more cooking classes, the idea of “Mise en Place,” or the practice of setting out all the things you need to make a recipe before you start, and thinking through each step along the way to make sure you can do it efficiently, is something I really hooked onto.  It goes along with the idea of working clean.  If you take an extra few moments to clean up what you were just working on before moving on to the next step, you will wind up with much less of an overwhelming pile of dishes/scraps/knives/counters to clean when you are done cooking.

I think about these ideas in other areas of my life… I set up my work presentations by thinking through what I’m trying to say and the putting blank slides into PowerPoint to outline my thoughts before filling it in.  As I unpack our new apartment, I put things I just took out of boxes back INTO boxes if I don’t know where they  should go yet, so as not to wind up with a trail of unknown items as I go.  I am pretty famous for booking itineraries for vacations using Google Docs to collect all the info, laying out the outline of the days and then filling it in with a combination of scheduled activities and ideas for unscheduled activities (I love planned spontaneity).  I just feel calmer when things are in place.

A friend of mine shared with me this clip on NPR by Dan Charnas that talks all about the importance of this theory and it is inspiring me to find more ways of organizing my world:

Who doesn’t need more organization in their life?

Even Thomas Keller agrees: