A Guest Blog by Deborah Harlow
No I’m not describing a glass of 2013 Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir … although those adjectives would work nicely.
I’m referring to accomplishment. The gratifying feeling of success.
Why is it though that very few people truly enjoy it?
Why is it that with all of the time saving technology at our disposal we have less available time to enjoy the dulcet sounds of life around us?
We think if we create a checklist, add a new app on our smart phone and read that 7th book we’ve purchased on Productivity we’ll have it all figured out.
Trust me I get it. I use checklists, have multiple productivity apps on my phone and don’t get me started on the number of books I own on productivity. Did you know that on Amazon alone there are 23,220 results for books for the keyword ”productivity”? Wow! Clearly we all are searching for help in this area.
Is stress-free productivity possible? Can we overcome our procrastination dark-side and create a joyfully productive life?
The answer is yes … with the right ingredients in place, a delicious life can be yours.
I work with clients every day who show up stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, distracted and unhappy. They show up with a ridiculously long list of to do’s, action items and a mouth full of pungent “should’s”.
When we sit down and peel back the layers to get to the heart of the matter, we are able to address the root causes of their stress and create a recipe for success.
Let me show you how…
To create delicious accomplishment, gather the following ingredients:
- Identify your motivators and time traps
- Sprinkle productivity-leavening attractions throughout your day
- Keep a freshly stocked routines list in the pantry
- Write down 7 ACTION goals
- Identify 3 PUSH goals
Now that you have your ingredients ready, set yourself up for success by adopting a mise en place mindset.
In the culinary world mise en place is more than just the literal translation “put in place”. It’s an adopted lifestyle of focus and efficiency. A clean workspace, tools and ingredients prepped in advance, mind focused only on the tasks at hand, body positioned so only minuscule body movement is necessary, continual communication with the back of the house team, consistent checking of the food to ensure proper development of flavors, cooking time and final presentation.
In this process every moment is accounted for, every person knows their role and what is expected of them to create a magical experience for the customer and a precious respect is honored for all that went into the creation (time, ingredients, creative energy, people).
So how can you adopt a mise en place mindset and enjoy delicious accomplishment?
- Create a list, write things down, keep it current, review it. Ever go shopping, forget your list and come home with a lifetime supply of peanut butter only to find out you have 2 jars in the pantry already? Yeah, been there, done that. Create the list. Put it in writing. Get everything out of your head so you can focus on one singular priority at a time. Keep the list current (refer to example above of lifetime supply of peanut butter) and regularly review it.
- Get clear on what you’re serving. Don’t be distracted by everything you should be doing. Focus on what you desire to be doing because it’s a PUSH goal knowing that accomplishment of a PUSH goal will have the most impact on your life and the rest of the goals on the list. Everything else at that moment is a should and needs to stay out of sight, out of mind.
- Communicate with your team/family. The worst thing you can do is think you’re going to be successful all on your own or have a team and tell them “only what they need to know”. This is a recipe for disaster. If you’re unclear on how much to communicate, go to a professional kitchen or watch a behind the scenes cooking show and see how much the chef and back of the house team call out to each other to keep the flow of the kitchen on point. It’s continual and perpetual. You cannot over communicate.
- Cleanliness is next to godliness … in other words keep your work space clean, your mind free from clutter and you’ll feel divine.
- Set yourself up for success. Create systems that work for you, keep your business stocked with the tools and information it needs, plan, plan, plan … yes did you read that - I said plan, build in purposeful distractions throughout your day (aka productivity-leavening attractions) to stay alert/focused/engaged and not drawn in by pesky time traps or procrastination pitfalls.
- Slow down. Have a lot to do today? Well then slow down. Take a breath. Stand up, stretch, close your eyes. Whatever you do, hit pause for a moment and get ready. Sounds counter intuitive but it’s not. The more frazzled you get, the more your stress levels go up and you become distracted, depressed and disengaged. Yes I said slow down when you are at your most busiest.
- Enjoy. Think back on your favorite meal. Remember how it looked, smelled and tasted. Who was with you at the table? What was the ambiance like? Was there music playing? Flowers and candles on the table? Now that the memory is present did you savor every moment? Did you enjoy every blissful bite? Did you feel full of joy and gratitude for that experience? I know for me, food is more than just cellular nourishment to keep my body alive. It’s an experience created for nourishment of every aspect of my life: physical, spiritual and emotional. A connected time to share with those I love enjoying food and companionship for the beautiful life I am grateful for.
Create space to celebrate, enjoy, be grateful and be present. The more you are connected to the work you are doing the more inspired you will be to accomplish the goals you’ve identified because they are meaningful to you. A joyful mind desires to create more joy. If you celebrate your accomplishments and really savor the moments, you will create an energy cycle of more success.
Life is precious. Time and resources are limited. Use them wisely. Be mindful and meaningful with yourself and others. Enjoy. Gratitude is the best attitude. And…
…with the right ingredients in place, a delicious life can be yours.
Deborah Harlow, founder of Heart to How, thrives in the world of people possibilities and creative solutions.
Her degree in Sociology was a natural choice since she’s always been drawn to understanding the needs of others and caring for them. Her professional successes in corporate project and event management combined with her personal experience in being a caregiver to her father for 12 years, has given her the insight and heart to provide amazing guidance to leaders and their teams.
After leaving the corporate arena, Deborah launched a business providing operational support to a handful of heart-centered entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. Over the years her role as implementer grew to leader and then coach or Heart Sherpa as her clients and community affectionately refer to her as.
She is thrilled to have found a career that beautifully combines relationships, learning and empowerment to make a difference in the lives of the people she does heart-work with.
Deborah has lived all around the world, growing up as the daughter of an international chef. However San Francisco holds her heart and was home for most of her life, until getting married and relocating to Southern California where she now lives with her husband and daughter. Deborah’s biggest joy and learning achievement in life is being a mom to her ladybug. Her other joys include, unplugging to enjoy time creating in the kitchen (she’s a total foodie), music, writing, being in nature and time with loved ones.
Deborah invites you to keep in touch and continue exploring a mise en place mindset and creation of a delicious life. You can connect with her on her website, LinkedIn or Instagram.