Work Clean: Applying Mise en Place to your Life

One thing I noticed after reading “Work Clean” by Dan Charnas is that how criminally underrated it is. I mean it has less than 50 reviews in Amazon and I hope you will get a copy of the book after reading this post. . The book presents an interesting idea on how to apply Mise en Place to your life.

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What is Mise en Place?

Mise en Place is a French culinary phrase which means “putting in place” or “everything in its place.” It is a practice of arranging and organizing all the ingredients before preparing your food. Dan Charnas uses the concept of mise en place as a “philosophy” and “system” and applies to our every day life.

Life and Kitchen:

Kitchen and Life are both similar in many ways. Professional Kitchens are chaotic where cooks race against the clock to complete the many ad hoc orders as they can. Most often these orders are non-linear and customers expect to have their food on time. Professional cooks and chefs handle this chaos by applying the system of Mise en Place and staying one item ahead of the incoming order.

Ingredients of Working Clean:

Dan Charnas has short listed ten principles of Mise en place that can be applied to our life.

  1. Planning is Prime:
    Plan daily. Commit to being honest with your time.
    Greet the day.
    Honor your schedule
  2. Arranging Space, Perfect Movements:
    Remove friction.
    Commit to setting your station and reducing impediments to your movements and activities.
  3. Cleansing as you go:
    Cleaning is a spiritual practice.
    Commit to maintaining your system. Always be cleaning.
  4. Making First moves:
    Commit to using time to your benefit. Start now.
  5. Finishing Actions:
    Commit to delivering. When a task is nearly done, finish it.
    Always be unblocking.
  6. Slowing down to speed up:
    Use physical order to restore mental order.
    Commit to working smoothly and steadily. Don’t rush.
  7. Open your eyes and ears:
    Stay alert.
    Commit to balance internal and external awareness.
  8. Call and Call back:
    Commit to confirming and expect confirmation of essential communication. Call back.
  9. Inspect and correct:
    Commit to coaching yourself, to be coached and to coaching others.
    Evaluate your self.
  10. Total Utilization:
    Waste nothing.
    Commit to valuing space, time, energy, resource and people.

Daily Meeze:

The interesting part of the book is that Dan provides a process to apply the ten ingredients to our life called “Daily Meeze”. “Meeze is a short form for Mise en Place. The Daily Meeze has four parts. Each with a specific function and each taking a certain balance of the time.

  1. Clean your station.
  2. Sharpen your tools.
  3. Plan your day.
  4. Gather your resources.

Hope this blog post was useful. Seriously, grap a copy of “Work Clean“.

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