Focus is hard. Continued focus is even harder. As a writer, a lack of focus can be toxic. I’ve found this technique on working as you would cook (with everything in its place before you start) to be a great hack for focus.
Being organized – as we say in our kitchen, ‘working clean’ – is a skill to develop. We call it mise-en-place, French for, literally, ‘put in place.’ The term can be very specific, referring to ingredients needed to complete a recipe, measured out and ready to use, or it can be more general: are you organized, do you have everything you need to accomplish the task at hand?
Good organization is all about setting yourself up to succeed. It means getting rid of anything that would interfere with the process of making a recipe or preparing an entire meal. If you are in the middle of preparation, you don’t want to stop and find the proper pot, or dig around in the cupboard for an ingredient: that opens you up to distractions and errors…
When I peel an onion, I get rid of all the onion skin before I begin slicing it… When you finish with a pot, wash it. Clean as you go to avoid clutter; clutter interferes with the cooking process. Things get in your way when you’re not organized. Clear your path.
Being organized is the first and most important part of cooking.