Mise en place: Design your life workshop

Well, I just learned a new term today, a new term from French used in English: mise en place.
And it means everything in its place, and it’s used by chefs and cooks in kitchens to speak to the idea of having all your tools and ingredients organized and ready to go, so that when it’s time to work, you can most easily grab all the tools and ingredients that you need.
This idea has been extended beyond the world of food.
It certainly applies to any kind of work: arranging our workspace so that the things that we need are easy to take and easy to use, so that it can be as convenient as possible, and our work can go as smoothly as possible.
But I think this idea can even be extended further into anything in life, the way that we live our life.
Just like a lot of the principles, I think: a lot of the principles from work can apply generally to life.
Work is just one specific part of our day, and one specific activity, but the same principles apply to any activities that we’re doing.
And work is just doing useful activity.
That’s really all it is: doing useful, valuable activity.
Creating value.
Well, doesn’t that apply to everything that we do? We are doing things that are useful for some reason.
Even if we’re just having fun, it’s useful to create fun and have a feeling of fun.
So this is yet another example of how things that we can use from work, principles from work, can be applied throughout our lives.
And in this case, it’s the idea of our tools and our workshop, our environment, where we live, what we surround ourselves with, we can arrange it and organize it in a way where it is convenient for us to do good work.
We can make the things that we want to do convenient, and then make the things that we don’t want to do, we can make them less convenient.
So a simple application would be, if we have a habit that we are attempting to reform, we can make it more difficult to access that habit, for example, keep it out of the way.
For example, if one is quitting smoking, to have smoking materials, to have a lighter and cigarettes ready at our side, is a mise en place really making it very easy and convenient to smoke.
Whereas, if the cigarettes and lighter are kept in an inconvenient location where we have to go out of our way to get them, that makes it slightly less convenient.
This is no replacement at all for actually the mental- the work that we have to do to actually quit.
Because, of course, making cigarettes inconvenient to access is not going to lead to quitting smoking.
Because if you really want to do the bad habit, you’ll simply go out of your way to do it, and doesn’t matter if it’s inconvenient.
But it just makes that little bit of difference, where it becomes a little bit more difficult.
It makes us think more about it.
It makes it less efficient to follow the bad habit.
We have to think about it more and go through more of a process to be able to do it.
It makes it a little bit out of the ordinary.
Deliberately sabotaging our workshop.
If you think of, like, a workshop of bad habits, all the bad habits that we can reach for, we disrupt that workshop and make it an inconvenient workshop.
And that could have just a little bit of a nudging effect on making those habits a little bit less simple and smooth to continue on with.
And then with good things that we want to do, if there’s work we’re working on, we can have it ready and organized, ready to go in a convenient way.
If we’re working on building a habit of exercising, we can have all the exercise equipment or whatever we need, the running shoes, everything, laid out, ready to go.
This is something that- I think there’s a lot of potential for me to improve this for myself and really try to arrange my environment in a way that encourages the kind of mindset and the kind of work that I want to do.
We arrange our environment, and it sends messages to ourselves.
So when we wake up and we look around, imagine the difference between seeing all your bad habits ready to go or seeing all the good work you can do.
The tools for bad things, the tools for good things.
Have the tools for good things be readily arranged and ready, and that becomes like our menu for action.
Our menu for action is all around us.
With all the tools we have around us, that is our menu of what we will choose to do.
So by arranging our environment, we can make it easier to do what we want.

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