Ron Friedman is one of my favorite writers on productivity and work/life balance. In this Harvard Business Review article Ron uses Anthony Bourdain, the famous chef and author, as a model for how solo-professionals can create a successful day by preparing the night before.
Chefs and line cooks have a ritual that is critical to working in a fast-paced kitchen. It’s called mise-en-place. This translates to “everything in its place” before you begin work - prioritizing tasks, setting aside tools and preparing your mindset.
In Bourdain’s best-seller “Kitchen Confidential” he wrote, “As a cook, your station, and its condition, its state of readiness, is an extension of your nervous system… The universe is in order when your station is set…”
Friedman, Ron. “How to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Day.” Harvard Business Review, 5 Dec. 2017,
As a consultant or solo-professional the most important 10 minutes of your day could be preparing your “station” the night before. Here are some tips on combining Strategic Objectives, Time Blocking and mise-en-place.
The night before,
When you start work the next morning,
Some things I have done to prepare for a consulting engagement are,